is creating the next generation of food. We are a food technology company developing breakthrough ingredients that unleash the promise of plant-based foods and transform the eating experience – from first bite to lasting impact. With food as our passion and innovation coded into our DNA, we are driven by the science of more. More taste. More texture. More choices for consumers. That is why our work has gone beyond the lab. We have taken it all the way to the plate with products grown from the universal experience of what great food should be: tantalizing, satiating, and nourishing. Our ecosystem of ingredients and finished products are designed for people of all habits and beliefs and with the health of our planet always in mind. Because at Motif, we believe the food of the future should set you free.Role Overview:
Motif is establishing itself as the preeminent B2B ingredient technology platform for plant-based foods while simultaneously commercializing its own finished products that showcase the power of our ingredient technology. Motif is recruiting an innovation and commercialization executive to a newly created Vice President of Research & Development role to lead our world-class R&D team. As the VP of R&D, you will play a pivotal role in shaping the future of food by driving innovation, developing breakthrough ingredient technologies, and leading cross-functional teams to create cutting-edge food products. Reporting directly to the CEO, this person will oversee a ~20 person R&D team across our Boston and Northborough, MA locations, and will serve on the Executive Leadership Team. This role will be responsible for the Company’s strategic direction of R&D, with a focus on pipeline development and commercialization outcomes related to ingredients and finished food products.Responsibilities:
Experience & Expertise
- Strategic Leadership: Develop and execute the R&D strategy aligned with Motif’s vision, mission, and business goals. Drive innovation and prioritize R&D initiatives to bring transformative food products to market.
- Team Development: Lead and inspire a diverse team of scientists, engineers, and culinary experts. Foster a culture of collaboration, creativity, and continuous learning. Provide mentorship and guidance to develop talent within the R&D organization.
- Research-Driven Pipeline Development: Drive research efforts to discover and develop a strong pipeline of novel ingredients, formulations, and processing technologies. Stay abreast of industry trends, emerging technologies, and consumer preferences to guide R&D efforts.
- Product Development: Oversee the development of innovative food products from concept to commercialization, ensuring product quality, safety, and sustainability. Collaborate with cross-functional teams, including Product Development, Marketing, and Operations.
- Resource Management: Manage R&D budget and resources effectively, optimizing investments to deliver results on time and within budget constraints. Identify opportunities for cost savings and efficiency improvements.
- Collaboration and Partnerships: Establish and nurture collaborative partnerships with external research organizations, universities, and industry leaders to leverage expertise and resources for accelerated innovation.
- Regulatory Compliance: Ensure all R&D activities comply with relevant regulatory standards and requirements, including food safety and labeling regulations.
- Intellectual Property: Manage and protect intellectual property assets through patents and other means to secure Motif’s competitive advantage.
- Communication: Effectively communicate R&D progress, findings, and achievements to the executive team, board of directors, and other stakeholders. Act as a public-facing spokesperson for Motif’s science and technology agenda.
- 15+ years of experience, ideally in both B2B and B2C environments in value-added ingredients and CPG organizations.
- Extensive experience in leadership roles within the food industry, with a proven track record of successfully bringing innovative food products to market (previous startup experience a plus).
- Strong knowledge of food science, ingredient functionality, bioprocessing, and food processing technologies.
- Exceptional strategic thinking and problem-solving skills.
- Outstanding communication and interpersonal skills, with the ability to collaborate effectively with cross-functional teams and external partners.
- Deep understanding of regulatory requirements and compliance in the food industry.
- Strong project management and budget management skills.
- Passion for sustainability, nutrition, and food innovation.
- MS in Food Science or related field. PhD a plus.
Culture and Impact:
- Ability to influence at the executive level as demonstrated through fact-based analysis, clear communication, and interpersonal skills.
- Hands-on approach, willingness to be tenacious, working through ambiguity and diving into details to help address any issue that needs attention at the Executive Leadership Team level.
- Resourceful and nimble, able to collaborate cross-functionally in a team-oriented environment.
- Excellent analytical, reasoning, and problem-solving skills.
- Grounded, collaborative team player who identifies and promotes “best practices” approach to improve efficiency and overall performance of the team and all aspects of the business, not just within R&D, but across the entire organization.
- Relationship builder, demonstrating an ability to listen and respond to a wide variety of constituencies.
- Strong communicator, who can organize, clarify, and communicate complex ideas quickly, concisely, and accurately to lay audiences as well as to technically sophisticated stakeholders.
- Strong initiative-taker with ability to assume appropriate risks and make difficult decisions when required.
- Mission-driven and motivated to transform the food industry through alternative protein science and technology.
- Passion for and track record of developing talent and fostering the professional growth of team members.
- Belief in and demonstrated ability to collaborate cross-functionally.
- Experience with and ability to inspire others in a high-growth startup environment.
- Ability to deal constructively with ambiguity and rapidly changing priorities while maintaining a positive “can-do” attitude.
- Promote a spirit of accountability and mutual trust within their organization and cross-functional teammates.
- Desire and demonstrated ability to learn and grow professionally, especially in fields outside of the candidate’s core expertise.
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