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R&D Product Development Manager



Mexico City, Mexico
Posted on Saturday, June 1, 2024

We are currently looking for our next R&D Product Development Manager to join our highly-accomplished management team and take the lead of our R&D team to continue creating innovative solutions based on our functional ingredient: Flora, aligned with our business strategy and mission.

What we do:

microTERRA is pioneering sustainable food ingredients by harnessing the cleansing power of Lemna. This remarkable aquatic plant has the unique ability to clean water while simultaneously producing valuable functional ingredients such as Flora: Taste & Feel Ingredients. Flora increases sweetness perception while reducing sugar in formulations. It also helps mask unwanted notes from high-intensity sweeteners. This represents a market opportunity in a $40Bn industry.

Flora is the first of many ingredients to come, as microTERRA is an ingredient platform that develops specialty ingredients sustainably

What you will be working on:

Research and Development:

  • Design and implementation of the strategy for the development of new Lemna-based ingredients. This includes establishing new lines of research that have the potential to add commercial value.
  • Optimization of existing extraction processes in terms of time and cost. Considering and validating their potential to scale to a industrial scale.
  • Designing new extraction processes to create valuable ingredients using Lemna.
  • Overseeing data collection to generate quality control parameters for our raw material. These include measuring and monitoring moisture, precipitates, % protein, % cellulose, and % reducing sugars, and other qualitative metrics.
  • Establishing protocols and documenting results of scientific lab experiments.
  • Establishing processes and products that we can incorporate to our intellectual property portfolio, by filing patents, or keeping as a trade secret.
  • Management of external suppliers and partners such as third party laboratories, food science agencies, and flavor houses to leverage their services in order to accelerate the development and commercialization of our ingredients.


  • Responsible for the management of the Research and Development team, facilities, equipment, and resources.
  • Definition of OKR's of the department, prioritizing those that lead to the fulfillment of the main objectives of the company. Weekly update of OKR's and communication to the management team.
  • Review and follow up of the work plans of each team member within R&D, checking that the activities are aligned with the company's priorities.
  • Provide continuous feedback to the team to support and guide them to improve and grow professionally.
  • Preparation of weekly 1:1's.
  • Follow up on team needs; be it communication, clarity as well as material and work equipment.
  • Manage and administer the Product Development budget and report results to the CEO.

Collaboration with other departments within microTERRA.

  • Participate in microTERRA's business strategy, leading the product development vision from a scientific perspective and in collaboration with business development and lemna production teams.
  • Work directly with our Food Applications leader to establish plans and priorities based on established projects and new extracts.
  • Participate and foster microTERRA's entrepreneurial culture along with the rest of the management team.

What you will bring:

  • MSc. in Food Science, Chemical Engineering, or Biochemical Engineering (PhD preferred, MSc. accepted).
  • Fundamental knowledge and proven experience of at least 10 years in the development of transformation processes to add value to raw materials (cereals, botanicals, herbs, fruits, algae or any type of plant).
  • Successful track record in the development of innovative food ingredients, from ingredient creation to adoption by the food industry. Or proven experience in food development.
  • Leadership experience with multidisciplinary teams.
  • Experience building scientific teams in corporations, scale ups or startups.
  • Experience in high demanding professional environments, whether food companies, biotech/food tech startups or academic R&D projects.
  • General knowledge of regulatory requirements for food ingredient manufacturing.
  • Interest and connections in the plant-based food industry desirable.
  • Entrepreneurial mindset and experience in a startup or scale-up. Interest in being part of a dynamic and fast-growing team.
  • Ability to manage budgets.
  • Ability to work under pressure.
  • Ability to manage multiple teams and projects simultaneously.
  • Passion for environmental impact and social entrepreneurship.
  • Proactive personality looking for how to make things possible
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills in English and Spanish.
  • Open minded to receive feedback and willing to do the same with your collaborators.
  • Proactive personality looking for as if
  • Practical approach.
  • Ability to work independently and take responsibility for projects and tasks.

You will not love working with us if

  • ou have a hard time tolerating uncertainty and prefer having everything very well defined, including your job and career
  • Prefer working in a corporate environment (bureaucracy, processes, rules, etc.)
  • Do not like going above and beyond the call of duty
  • Thrive by micromanaging or being micromanaged
  • Looking to work a strict 9-5 schedule
  • Are in it for the short term

Our team members are

  • Results-focused with a drive to succeed and to achieve our ambitious goals.
  • Naturally curious and proactive, real team players looking for collective opportunities to have a big positive impact.
  • Passionate about the development of sustainable innovation to transform our food system.

What we offer

  • Join a passionate team, committed to solving the water and health crisis by developing innovative circular solutions to treat agricultural wastewater while producing healthier ingredients.
  • Workable days: from Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm.
  • Location: On site in our Mexico City office.
  • Work culture: an inclusive and international environment designed to allow each team member to grow and achieve ambitious goals, all while respecting their personal and work-life balance.
  • Salary: competitive salary.
  • Benefits: Contract through Ontop (a global payroll platform

How to apply:

1️⃣ Send us your application via our application form.

2️⃣ Get to know each other (30min video call with our Head of HR and one of our department heads): What kind of job are you looking for? What is the role we are looking to fill?

3️⃣ Technical trial: We like to understand your way of thinking through a little case study (either written or in-person).

4️⃣ Deep dive on the role (30min video call with our founder and CEO): What does a successful working relationship look like to you? How can we build something great together?

5️⃣ Final decision-making meeting: Let's make it work!