* Aether Systems of Owings Mills, Md., said U.S. Xpress Enterprises, the fifth-largest publicly owned truckload carrier in the country, signed a multiyear contract to buy wireless and asset-tracking services. U.S. Xpress will replace its existing satellite-based tracking system on 5,500 of its trucks with Aether's MobileMax product. The system uses a combination of land-based and satellite transmissions to communicate dispatch messages and alerts, as well as data on state-line crossings, vehicle fault codes, and driver and truck performance. Installation will be completed on most U.S. Xpress trucks next year. Aether spokesman Greg S. Abel declined to comment on financial details of the contract but said this deal makes U.S. Xpress one of Aether's largest clients.
* Novak Biddle Venture Partners, a Bethesda-based venture capital firm, promoted two of its principals, Andrea S. Kaufman and Philip L. Bronner, to full partners in the firm's $125 million third fund. "They've done a really good job," said Jack Biddle, one of the firm's co-founders. "In the crowd of younger venture capitalists they're both standouts." Kaufman, 34, joined Novak Biddle in 1999 after serving as a corporate lawyer at Venable, Baetjer, Howard & Civiletti. Her investment focus has been on information technology and security companies. She is on the board of directors for Object Video, a developer of video-processing software for security applications. Bronner, 32, came to Novak Biddle in 1999 after time at a technology start-up and as a consultant for McKinsey & Co. He has worked with corporate and education software firms and is on the board at business software firms Approva and Logic Library.
* Ikimbo, a real-time software company in Herndon, said it acquired Gaithersburg-based Sussex Systems. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Sussex, founded in 1994, is a software and consulting firm and will become Ikimbo's professional services group.
* RWD Technologies, a Columbia company that provides technology services to businesses, said it changed the name of its e-learning division from Latitude360 to RWD Applied Technology Solutions.
* GenVec, a Gaithersburg biotech company, named David P. Wright president and chief operating officer. Wright previously served as president and chief business officer of Baltimore-based Guilford Pharmaceuticals. GenVec also filed to sell up to $25 million worth of stock and warrants.
* Marriott International of Bethesda said it plans to install wireless high-speed Internet access in 400 of its hotels in the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany. The service will be available by spring 2003 at Marriott hotels including Renaissance, Courtyard, Residence Inn, TownePlace Suites, Fairfield Inn and SpringHill Suites. Marriott executives said STSN, based in Salt Lake City, is installing the technology. STSN will be paid an undisclosed price and will share in the revenue. The deal is expected to be one of the largest rollouts of wireless high-speed Internet access in the hotel industry.
Compiled from reports by Washington Post staff writers, washingtonpost.com and Dow Jones News Service