Product and Market Development Specialist (Forever Green Initiative)
University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Salary: 79,372.80 - 130,956.80
Internal Number: 353164
POSITION: Product and Market Development Specialist (University Classification: Business Development Specialist 3 - Generalist (#8343BG))
LOCATION: This position will be located in the Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics, on the University of Minnesota campus in St. Paul, Minnesota.
OVERVIEW: The FGI is expanding its Commercialization, Adoption, and Scaling team to harness the significant interest from industry in developing food, feed, fuel, and industrial products from early-commercial FGI crops. The Product and Market Development Specialist will lead efforts to advance new and existing partnerships with companies that result in new products and market opportunities for FGI crops. Private sector partners will range from small start-ups to Fortune 500 companies. The Specialist will work closely with the FGI Director of Adoption and Scaling, the FGI Sustainable Commercialization Associate, FGI researchers, and wide-ranging external stakeholders. Focus crops are likely to include the following: intermediate wheatgrass (Kernza® perennial grain), winter camelina, pennycress, winter barley, hybrid hazelnut, elderberry, hybrid winter rye, perennial flax, and alfalfa, among others. The role will require collaboration with technical experts across sectors in, for example, post-harvest storage, value-added processing, and product development. The Specialist will contribute to additional team efforts as needed. This is a unique opportunity to combine technical and relationship-building skills to advance environmentally and socially responsible food and agricultural systems.
RESPONSIBILITIES: â— Act independently and entrepreneurially on behalf of FGI to develop specific product and market opportunities for FGI crops. Work with R&D and business development teams in companies spanning a wide range of end uses, including human food, livestock feed, energy, fiber, and bio-based industrial products. (25%) â— Play a lead role in interfacing with food scientists, chemists, and engineers working for industry and for key partners such as the Agricultural Utilization Research Institute (AURI), Northern Crops Institute (NCI), and other local, national and international product and market development leaders. (15%) â— Represent the FGI Commercialization, Adoption, and Scaling Team on multiple funded collaborative or cross-disciplinary projects investigating agricultural utilization, product development, equipment design, infrastructure needs, and market development for FGI crops. (15%) â— Gather and distill market information for FGI crops, reflecting back needs, trends, opportunities, and challenges to FGI R&D teams and partners. (10%) â— Partner closely with FGI crop teams to develop technical resources related to food science, processing, and economics; share insights from market research; and prepare to work as an agent of these teams in conversations with outside groups. (10%) â— More broadly, collaborate with the Commercialization Team and other FGI network members to organize and implement cross-institution and cross-sector collaborations for advancing commercialization of highest-priority FGI crops by coordinated market and supply-chain development. (10%) â— Contribute to grant writing, funder relations, and regular grant reporting. (10%) â— Support other efforts of the FGI Commercialization, Adoption, and Scaling Team as needed. (5%)
SALARY: Competitive, commensurate with background and level of experience. The anticipated salary range is $80,000-$90,000 per year, but is dependent on each individual's relevant education, skillset, and level of experience.
NOTE: The University provides equal access to and opportunity in its programs and facilities, without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, age, marital status, disability, public assistance status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. People from groups that are underrepresented in agronomy are strongly encouraged to apply.
QUALIFICATIONS: Required: Academic training and work experience in relevant fields such as food science, biochemistry, biosystems engineering, business development, and market research (BA/BS plus at least four years of experience or a combination of related education and work experience to equal at least eight years).
Desired: Experience and a track record of success in food and agricultural product, business, and/or market development. Relevant advanced academic training (including but not restricted to M.S. in a related technical field), and extensive work experience in relevant fields such as food science, product R&D, business development, and consumer and market research. Strong analytical skills, entrepreneurial ability, ability to communicate with a wide range of sectors and stakeholders, and excellent written and verbal communication skills.
The University of Minnesota, founded in the belief that all people are enriched by understanding, is dedicated to the advancement of learning and the search for truth; to the sharing of this knowledge through education for a diverse community; and to the application of this knowledge to benefit the people of the state, the nation, and the world.