Chief Scientific Officer - IntelliDigest

Location: Edinburgh
Closing date: 01 Aug 2019
Posted: 3 months, 3 weeks ago

Chief Scientific Officer

Position: Chief Scientific Officer

Location: Edinburgh, UK

Reports to: IntelliDigest Executive Director



IntelliDigest Ltd is seeking to recruit an experienced and creative scientific thought leader to serve as IntelliDigest’s first Chief Scientific Officer. The CSO is an executive position that reports directly to IntelliDigest’s Executive Director, with responsibility for leading development and implementation of a transformational research agenda focused on our novel process of converting food waste to high value biochemicals. 

There is huge demand for adoption of bio-based chemical with the global renewable chemicals market estimated to be USD 49.0 Billion in 2015 and projected to reach USD 84.3 Billion by 2020, at a CAGR of 11.47% between 2015 and 2020.

However, we waste more than 10 million tonnes of food waste per year in the UK. Hence, the need for a more robust solution that does not only focus on eliminating food waste but ensures maximum recovery of value in food waste to meet the soaring demand for bio based /renewable energy and chemicals that are currently sourced from fossil fuel and growing crops.

To achieve this, IntelliDigest is developing an anaerobic automated/modular bio-upcycler (iDigest) that can be used on site by businesses in the Hospitality and Food Sector (HaFS) to completely and safely upcycle unavoidable food waste to high value resources

This is a highly visible and challenging role as a member of the executive team. It is a salaried position that requires full-time employment at our office in Edinburgh, UK. The CSO role combines hands-on research, research team leadership, and IP strategy and planning.

On the research front, you will need to have acquired record of creative thought leadership in research involving advanced molecular biology techniques, synthetic biology, anaerobic fermentation, separation of fermentation broth and polymer synthesis. Direct experience in conducting empirical research, either experimental or observational, and experience in conducting systematic reviews and evidence synthesis are highly desirable.

On the leadership front, the CSO will have primary responsibility for recruitment, supervision and mentoring of IntelliDigest scientific staff; for developing IntelliDigest’s research and working with a major OEM Supplier with a focus to commercialise our product by 2021.

You will also be the key IP strategist and executor. You will work closely with other members of the executive team to define the company vision and strategy with regard to onsite recycling of food waste to high value biochemicals. The CSO will ensure that research agenda is refined over time in response to advances in technology development and adoption.

The position is available immediately with a commencement date 6 January 2020.

IntelliDigest’s CSO key responsibilities

  • Naturally exhibit strong leadership skills, as well as internal motivation and desire to ensure IntelliDigest is continuously a leader in the bioeconomy/circular economy sector.
  • Define and champion the anaerobic automated/modular bio-upcycler development.
  • Work closely with entire executive team to deeply understand the business model and all technologies and products to determine ways to deliver the product to market and improve the business with advanced research
  • Own and set the research plan for the next 12 months based on input from all business unit.
  • Develop ground-breaking technologies with a hands-on approach as well as direct the research team to develop procedures and techniques for our product development and commercial delivery.
  • Work directly with a major OEM Supplier and teams to ensure that the research activities are aligned with Product requirements and Engineering development practices.
  • Understand best practices for applying advanced molecular biology techniques, synthetic biology, anaerobic fermentation, separation of fermentation broth and polymer synthesis.
  • Work with our executives and IP attorneys to continue to build our IP portfolio over time.
  • Manage staff, set timelines, mentor and appraise all direct reports including scientific and regulatory training.
  • Provide scientific guidance on strategic and operating decisions, setting strategy, and performance goals.
  • Set up protocols for and personally handle regulatory documents and inspections.
  • Convene and participate in relevant industrial sponsored meetings of scientists and other stakeholders, focusing attention on biotechnology developments, and advance understanding of the methods or findings that will enhance IntelliDigest product delivery and wider adoption.
  • Participates in multi-stakeholder Advisory Panels to review IntelliDigest research agenda, its portfolio, findings of IntelliDigest-funded research, and to prioritize new research ideas.
  • Contributes to the national dialogues on practical bio economy/circular economy strategic issues through presentations and contributions to the peer-reviewed scientific literature.

Desired skills and experience

  • Strong, concise communicator with excellent verbal and written skills
  • Distinguished record of research leadership, including experience building a successful biotechnology product, recruiting and mentoring of scientific staff, and a record of scientific contribution in a focused area of synthetic biology or polymer synthesis.
  • Ability to thrive in a fast-paced, start-up environment.
  • Ability to define and evaluate promising directions for research and use a fail-fast, experimental approach and good judgement to direct the development and evaluation of new techniques and approaches
  • The ability to manage the development of processes and technologies to integrate well into a complex ecosystem of products, aligning well with business needs
  • Ability to survey and report on the field of competing and complementary technologies
  •  Ability to integrate a continuous stream of improvements and expected improvements in research into a series of coherent product updates
  • Ability to recruit and retain an exceptionally talented team of researchers
  • Experience writing patents, solid public speaker with the ability to inspire our team and clients.
  • Exceptional work ethic, team mentality, positive attitude, highly-driven, self-motivated, passionate, action-oriented, entrepreneurial, adaptive
  • 10+ years of overall industry experience with at least 3+ as a leader within a research or technology development organization.
  • PhD and Postdoctoral role in relevant sector required
  • Hands on experience with complex project management
  • Outstanding communication, interpersonal and leadership skills
  • Excellent organizational and time-management skills
  • Effective negotiation and vendor management skills
  • Proactive problem solver
  • Attention to detail.

First two years - measures of success

  • IntelliDigest should have a clearly defined approach to product development and commercialisation with clear milestones and costings.
  • Attracted funding to set action on developed plan.
  • Commenced lease of iDigest in the last quarter of 2021.


Compensation will be competitive and consist of a base salary, and incentive bonus.

About us

IntelliDigest Ltd is a biotechnology start-up company.

For questions or to apply

To learn more, please visit our website at Qualified candidates are invited to apply by sending a cover letter, CV, and salary expectations to

Please be sure to put the job title in the subject line of the email and indicate how you heard of this opening.

IntelliDigest Ltd  is an equal opportunity employer.


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