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12 May 2021

Full-Time Chief Technology Officer

NovoNutrients – Posted by NovoNutrients San Francisco Bay Area

Job Description

We are seeking a creative, inspired, and collaborative CTO to lead our novel CO2 and hydrogen bioconversion technology development, as we deploy pilot scale systems. Our Chief Technology Officer will provide technical leadership of our industrial biotechnology team. Part of the NovoNutrients leadership team, the CTO will report to the CEO and play a key role in developing technology-based business strategy.

NovoNutrients is transforming industrial carbon dioxide emissions into protein-rich food and feed ingredients in the emerging and cutting edge industrial biotech field of gas fermentation. As we take NovoNutrients gas fermentation processes from floor-scale to near-term pilot to commercial scales, we fight climate change and create low-carbon, more sustainable food sources for the planet’s circular economy. The company is comfortably venture funded and will make a competitive offer to a qualified candidate.

We use bacteria that can capture CO2 using hydrogen energy, to produce food and feed products. NovoNutrients operates one of the world’s leading and largest hydrogen-based biosynthesis laboratories, with bioreactors from 250ml to 55L, and successful, initial non-GMO single cell protein and GMO bacterial expression products developed and waiting for a new CTO to drive them forward and also to create new products. The company has developed core IP and is preparing to deploy pilot scale systems in the near term. 

This role requires a mixture of synthetic biology and process engineering expertise. On the synbio side, you will focus on developing and managing bioprocess, scale-up, and strain development, from inception to completion, to commercialize our technology. Process engineering is equally critical, to bring the industrial capacity of NovoNutrients’ bioconversion technology to scale, in the future, by designing and scaling proprietary process technology co-optimized with our microbes.

The CTO will create, lead, and manage teams focused on: 

  • Novel fermentation process development
  • Process scale up through commercialization
  • Downstream processing
  • Synthetic biology with bacterial strains
  • Strain development with non-GMO and GMO bacteria
  • IP strategy, creation, and execution

Ideal candidates have knowledge of some or all of the following:

  • More than 10 years of experience with fermentation technology development and/or engineering, preferably industrial biotech
  • Experience in successful leadership of a strategic business unit, including budgeting and business planning
  • Minimum of Bachelor’s degree in engineering, biology, chemistry, or relevant field of science or technology, ideally with a focus on process engineering, biotech, or microbiology with advanced degrees, or equivalent experience, essential.
  • Hands on experience with the design and development of bioprocesses, scale-up and process optimization, ideally including gas fermentation, purification, and expression models
  • Expanding, developing, and applying an R&D and patent portfolio.
  • Experience with and/or understanding of product development  that are aligned with quality goals and company objectives
  • Understanding and ability to practice, define and implement safe practices to mitigate risks associated with working with bioproducts and potentially hazardous gases.
  • Ability to identify and work with in-house and outside experts who will assist in specific areas of safety, design, programming and other key areas of process and implementation as needed.

Overall your responsibilities, in a startup environment, will be to:

  • Manage all technical activities to develop breakthrough, fermented products intended for uses including in food and feed
  • Oversee all technical aspects of external collaborations and partnerships in concert with our highly experienced business development team
  • Coordinate product innovation technical strategy, timing, and progress, from technical scoping to implementation in production
  • Provide rigorous attention to detail in management of experimental design and execution
  • Support the staff’s daily R&D, including analytics and KPIs, and other development activities – bioprocess, expression models, hydrogen utilization, carbon capture, assays, and molecular biology toolkits 
  • Lead design of reactor, process, and unti scale-up from lab through pilot, demo, and commercial
  • Draft key portions of patents, evaluate and implement of new methods and technologies
  • Communicate technology strategy to partners and investors; contribute to conference talks and scientific publications
  • Evaluate performance and ensure procedure training for staff
  • Ensure compliance with internal quality/safety standards as well as the current standards of cGMP and best practices for food and feed product development.

Environment and work conditions: 

  • Based out of NovoNutrients’ headquarters in the Bay Area
  • Enthusiasm for and ability to travel for technology operations support, including internationally, infrequently but potentially for more than two weeks at a time, while observing COVID precautions and restrictions.
  • Work entails a mix of desk and hands-on activities at various scales from lab to increasing scaled pilot and demo facilities.
  • Novo’s lab and scale-up facilities include flammable gases and other industrial hazards. The CTO is expected to safely operate in this industrial environment while contributing and leading a culture of safety.
  • Ability to lift up to 50 pounds and work standing 25% of work day

A complete job description can be found here:

How to Apply

An application form is available here:  Cover letter and resume can be uploaded in the application portal linked above.

Job Categories: Management. Job Types: Full-Time. Job Tags: bioprocessing, bioreactor, and Gas Fermentation. Salaries: 100,000 and above.

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