As a Certified B Corporation, AeroFarms is a mission-driven company with global headquarters in Newark, NJ, championing indoor vertical farming and fundamentally transforming agriculture. Recognized by Fast Company as one of the World’s Most Innovative Companies and by Inc.com as one of the Top 25 Disruptive Companies in the World, AeroFarms is scaling to meet the demand for our fresh, locally grown produce that is setting new culinary standards, and we need someone special who can bring their experience in Research and Development to help us grow further. Must be aligned with our mission and passionate about making a difference.
-An incredible ‘change-the-world’ company with the eyes of the world focused on our success.
-A team of motivated, intellectually-curious individuals to support you.
-Backed by some seriously impressive firms including Goldman Sachs, Prudential, leading VCs, and strategic partners with a view on global expansion.
We’re looking for an experienced and talented Vice President of Research & Development to provide scientific direction and leadership to our Research & Development Department in Newark, NJ. This position will be responsible for all aspects of research and development, including current product innovation and new product development.
This individual will work closely with all cross-functional groups (Operations, Engineering, Quality, Marketing, etc.) to ensure all R&D experiments are properly supported and evolve through a Stage-Gate model for product development.
The major areas of focus are divided into 3 R&D pillars:
Optimizing Plant Genetics at AeroFarms: Increasing yields, reducing COGS, commercializing new varieties, and improving quality. Developing feedback loops for both commercial growing and R&D. Lead traditional and genetic breeding programs both in house and with partners. Identify traits and markers for speciality crops, and breed to optimize.
New Business Lines: Working with Strategic Partners department to author technical feasibility experiments, managing staff to achieve deliverables on-time/on-budget, identifying pathways to commercialization, optimizing growth recipes and accelerating learning into new business offerings
Data Analytics: Managing the team to construct a mineable database of insights into what makes plants grow; managing the interaction of the environment and genetics. As the leader of the R&D organization, one must champion and lead the development of prescriptive analytics models to improve quality and yields.
-Function as the corporate senior scientist directing R&D in support of AeroFarms’ indoor vertical farms domestically and globally.
-Developing short, mid and long-term R&D strategies and administering annual R&D Budget.
-Manage a team of 20-30 scientists, including several research sub-teams of 5-6 people led by experienced PhD plant scientists.
-Provides management, scientific leadership and creativity in initiating, designing and executing research.
-Monitors research progress and meets with direct reports to receive updates and identify problems and opportunities.
-Recruits, develops, mentors and motivates engagement of the R&D team to the Mission/Vision/Values of AeroFarms.
-Provides briefing updates to Leadership and internal partners.
-Ensures safe work practices and compliance with all Food Safety, HACCP, and Quality Control procedures as well as OSHA regulations.
-Contributes to patent applications and patent strategy development.
-Collaborates with engineering and other disciplines to develop future generations of growing equipment.
-Accountable for creating statistically sound conclusions that advance yields, flavor and profitability of company.
-Masters or Ph.D in Horticulture, Plant Sciences, Plant Physiology or a closely related discipline.
-Minimum 10 years of experience outside of academia in a scientific leadership position preferably in protected agriculture
-Experience in plant science, modern breeding/genetics and agronomics analytics
-Experience researching specialty crops. Leafy green or leafy herb experience especially preferred
-Strong leadership development skills with experience managing a mid-size technical research team (15-40)
-Effective presentation and communication skills for internal and external audiences
-Experience with cross functional collaboration, specifically with in-house engineering, operations and marketing functions
-Proven track record of leading teams in data analytics and experimental design; demonstrated success with prescriptive analytics.
-Ability to manage change in a fast-paced growth environment with interdependent teams (adaptive in a start-up culture)
Relocation Assistance Available