VP of R&D - Food Material Science
A. Food Materials ScienceFull TimeToronto, ON
At New School Foods, our mission is to accelerate the transition to a kinder, healthier, alt-protein-first food system. Using plant-based ingredients & our proprietary production technologies, we create zero-compromise seafood alternatives designed for the average consumer. Our healthy, whole-muscle, plant-based filets are made to look, cook, taste and flake just like fish. All with a lower carbon footprint, and without harming the ocean.
Through our focus on continuous R&D, we are building products that don’t just make change easier, they make it rewarding. They say “there are plenty of fish in the sea” - come be a part of the New School team, and let’s make sure it stays that way.
We are looking for a talented Director of R&D to lead our fast-growing Food Material Science team. This organized, motivated, creative, and results-oriented individual will have had experience managing a team of scientists in creating food products. We're looking for a candidate with a track record of keeping teams organized, prioritized & inspired.
- Lead a team developing cutting-edge plant-based meat/ fish products through research, product development and process innovation.
- Responsible for improving the organoleptic properties, nutrition profile, macrostructure, and cooking experience of our products
- Thought leadership on research direction by successfully identifying critical knowledge gaps and valuable whitespace opportunities
- Optimally leverage available resources towards the fulfillment of the business mission, including team (expertise and manpower resource), external knowledge (academic literature, IP, experts), budget (instrument, materials procurement).
- Drive new product development from ideation to bench-top prototypes to pilot production to commercialization.
- Ensure compliance with food safety standards
- Lead the design and execution of experiments, development of SOPs & protocols for new procedures, ensure the synthesis of data and review results
- Lead collaborative interactions with a broad group of external partners including academic researchers, analytical service providers, consultants, ingredient suppliers, equipment manufacturers, IP lawyers, and regulatory professionals.
- Continuously search for and vet advanced technologies that complement areas of strategic focus, and gather insight into new ingredient technologies
- Lead the drafting of patents, scientific papers, presentations
- Provide mentorship, training and experimental guidance
- Lead knowledge management and effective communication of scientific progress
- Manage a lab with a broad array of sample preparation and analytical equipment (texture analyzer, colorimeter etc) ensuring proper maintenance and operation.
- Ensure a clean, organized, and safe work area and ensure compliance with all safety policies and practices.
SKILLS & TRAITS
- Embraces the mission and purpose of New School Foods
- Demonstrated ability to build and lead a high performance team
- Demonstrated ability to develop and implement a successful research strategy within a commercial environment
- Excitement for working in a fast-paced environment, with high energy, creativity, personal dedication, accountability and ownership
- Understands and thrives in an unstructured startup environment and is able to develop structure and process where required while maintaining flexibility and agility
- Excellent time management, and communication skills (verbal and written), with ability to manage multiple projects and priorities
- Adaptable to evolving scientific and business priorities
- Business acumen
- PhD in a scientific discipline (materials science, physics or biophysics, chemistry, physical chemistry, biological or chemical engineering, or a related field) with 10+ years of product development experience in a food and/or food ingredient company, OR M.S. with 12+ years of experience OR OR B.S. with 15+ years of experience
- 5+ years of experience managing a team of scientists
- Proven track record of R&D thought leadership
- Deep Experience in food product design, including formulation, ingredient functionality and interaction, sensory analysis, process design, product scale-up, plant testing and commercialization
- Proven ability to leverage scientific insight towards the development of food processes and/or products
- Deep knowledge of food ingredients such as proteins, fats, hydrocolloids, flavorants, colorants, and nutrients including economics, sourcing, structure-function understanding, analytical testing and formulation know-how,
- Deep knowledge of scientific principles key to the development of plant based meat and fish products including texture development, emulsion technology, flavor-ingredient interactions, color chemistry, nutrition, microbiological safety and food preservation.
- Demonstrated knowledge of lab techniques and instrumentation
- Knowledge of industry standard processing techniques and the ability to research, design and implement disruptive technologies new to the industry
- Experienced in the protection of intellectual property through IP strategy development and the drafting of patents
- Excellent knowledge of food industry standards of quality, food safety and USDA/FDA regulations
- Nice to haves but not required: Prior experimental research experience in a wet lab // Experience in meat product or alternative/plant based meat product formulation and commercialization // Diverse experience with plant-based protein alternatives preferred but not required