Ariel Gruswitz may have pivoted to a Maryland-based biotech consulting firm, but she continues to support economic development in Delaware.
Working out of her home office for Facility Logix in her new position as associate director consulting services, Gruswitz still consults with the Delaware Prosperity Partnership (DPP), where she worked as its director of innovation for three years.
Indeed, for most of her time a DPP, she worked with Facility Logix.
The company “is the consultant that DPP has been relying on since pretty much the beginning, specifically for the lab space issues, but also just for general innovation ecosystem building recommendations,” the 2021 RealLIST Connectors honoree told Technical.ly. “We brought them on in the fall of 2018 to do our market assessment for our innovation ecosystem with a specific focus on the issue of the lack of ready-to-go lab space for our small and growing companies.”
The report, which took about two years of interviewing people in Delaware chemistry, biosciences and real estate industries and researching state assets such as University of Delaware and Delaware State University, was completed in June 2019.
“I’d seen the process from the from the ground up in Delaware from the client side, and I learned more when we created the Lab Space Grant Program,” Gruswitz said. “I had to learn about the brick and mortar side of what really goes into helping companies that need to plan for growth in these new physical spaces. I’m not a scientist, so it’s been a new area for me. I love learning new things, demand for this is just exploding, and it’s a firm that’s seen regionally and nationally as having a great mix of expertise and a great track record of experience in that space.”
It also helped that she could stay where she was is Delaware, and continue to contribute to the state’s economic development as a director of the kinds of studies Facility Logix has done for DPP: “I see this as an extension of the economic development foundation that I was able to lay in Delaware,” she said. “I didn’t want to leave, I wanted to stay and continue helping our ecosystem continue to grow.”
The ecosystem she focuses on now goes beyond Delaware’s borders and into the mid-Atlantic region as a whole, which is well on its way to being a major bioscience hub — with Delaware at its heart, according to Gruswitz.
“In the next five to 10 years, things are really going to be maturing here and in the region,” she said. “In Maryland and Pennsylvania, too, but Delaware can really be that bridge and connecter and create a really strong region for the bioscience sector. I saw [this career move] as an opportunity to continue to build on what I started working on in Delaware but also to get more national experience, and advising organizations on the broader ecosystem that you need to get a successful industry going.”
Her new position with the woman-owned Facility Logix allows Gruswitz to remain on the board of DelawareBio, enhancing her ability to engage with the community and focus on one of her main passions: empowering women in Delaware.
“I’ve had some great conversations with women leaders to continue the effort to bring together women in science and technology,” she said. “I really think we have a real treasure trove of talented women in our community that we should be hearing more from, empowering that next generation of leaders across the diversity spectrum.”