Director of Biotechnology
Aqua Cultured Foods is an innovative food technology company disrupting the alternative protein space with the world’s first whole-muscle cut seafood alternatives created through the process of microbial fermentation. Our novel technology produces a sustainable complete protein source using only a fraction of the resources required by traditional agriculture. As our global challenges with overfishing, climate change and feeding the world’s expanding population grows, our mission is to create delicious, nutrient-rich foods to feed our growing population and protect our oceans. Join our team and your contributions will make an impactful difference.
Our Core Values:
- Growth oriented
- Have a curious mind
- Honesty and transparency
- Personal integrity
- Maintains accountability
This is a high-impact position within a fast-paced and growing company, Director of Biotechnology to join a highly skilled team. This position will report directly to the Chief Science Officer. The main job of the Director of Biotechnology will be to provide executive oversight (i.e., supervises and mentors Research & Development team) and strategic planning for the achievement of business objectives. The role oversees the R&D technical direction and tech transfer to the commercialization team.
The role requires outstanding organizational, communication and leadership skills, and an ability to develop innovative solutions that push boundaries. The candidate will work closely with executives to strategize and develop long-term plans that usher in new levels of productivity and success for the company. You will have the opportunity to make an impact within a high-performing organization leading the path forward for alternative seafood and meat substitutes.
· Provides oversight and strategic planning for the biotech team. Allocates resources, secures funding, and supervises staff to ensure program strategies and activities align with the institutional mission. The position will also ensure that projects stay on track to ensure the timely completion of strategic initiatives. Expert in research and development of microbial products from ideation to pilot scale and manufacturing scale in industrial/commercial projects.
· Experience with microbial consortia, strong microbial/cellular lab techniques and synthetic community generation preferred.
· Develop s, directs, and evaluates research program strategic planning initiatives and establishes objectives to ensure appropriate use of financial, administrative, and staffing resources in alignment with the strategic plan.
· Develops, implements, directs, and evaluates research program operating policies and procedures to comply with regulations, institutional policies, and unit objectives.
· Serves as the unit liaison and key spokesperson to the executive team providing organizational information and representing the interests of the research program.
· Develops and audits research program budget(s).
· Provide leadership and guidance to the team, Exercises supervisory authority, Collaborate with other departments to ensure efficient workflow and coordination, Monitor and evaluate departmental performance.
· Manage and set direction for the microbiology team to research, engineer and improve the quality of products made from a microbial biomass.
· Conduct research studies related to the identification, isolation and characterization of microbial cultures in various growth culture media and bioprocesses from R&D scale to pilot scale culturing.
· Oversee Microbiology research and Microbial Culturing stations.
· Manage innovation activities and completion of projects within agreed upon timelines.
· Prepare project proposals, conduct bench-top work, and analyze, summarize present scientific outcomes. Provide accurate, clear, and concise reports on R&D activities.
These skills and experiences will be required or useful for the candidate:
● PhD or equivalent experience in Biotechnology, Microbiology, Molecular Biology, Genetics, Chemical Engineering or a related technical field
● Minimum 7+ years of industry experience in research & development, microbial cultures and/or consortiums, product or process development of new products
● Strong technical skills and background in the field of microbial consortia, microbial/cellular lab techniques and synthetic community generation
● Knowledge, understanding and experience with Six Sigma, LEAN, Continuous Improvement and Quality Management practices. Proven track record to build novel and sustainable products in the food industry
● Proven track record in building and leading research and development teams and collaborating with manufacturing and regulatory teams
● Strong interpersonal, influencing, and project management skills
● Hands on experience in industrial microbiology in upstream, fermentation and down-stream processes
● Comfortable working in a start-up environment
● Ability to work effectively in a team environment and influence technical direction and strategy
Selected candidates will work on-site with our team in the Chicago Office. Remote work is not available for this role.
We offer a comprehensive benefits package including paid time off, healthcare, vision, dental, stock options and 401K with company match.
To express your interest, please provide a short cover letter telling us why you’re perfect for this role, along with a resume detailing your experience.
Qualified Applicants will not require employer sponsored work authorization now or in the future for employment in the United States.
At Aqua Cultured Foods, we are committed to building a diverse, respectful, and inclusive workforce. We take being an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) employer seriously and do not discriminate based on race, color, national origin, religion, gender, age, veteran status, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability (in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act), or any other applicable characteristics protected by law.