Industrial Protein Biotechnologist
Tessenderlo Group (Euronext: TESB) is an industrial group that is a global leader in many different sectors, including agriculture, valorizing bio-residuals, energy, and providing industrial solutions with a focus on water. The group employs more than 4,800 people, we are a leader in most of the markets in which we operate, and we recorded a consolidated revenue of 2.1 billion EUR in 2021.
Our tagline – “Every Molecule Counts” - clearly conveys the unique attitude to sustainability and continuous practical innovation within each department of Tessenderlo Group. As an international company with Belgian roots, Tessenderlo Group promotes personal and local entrepreneurship, creating opportunities for all of our employees to take on challenging roles and real responsibilities. On top of this, our people are encouraged to further develop their competencies through regular training initiatives, and they are rewarded with competitive compensation and benefits packages. More information can be found at www.tessenderlo.com.
Expertise and entrepreneurship, technical strength and know-how, curiosity and creativity are key for the group to secure its position as a global leader in most of its products and markets. An innovation mindset and focus on safety and sustainability are indispensable for a successful future where Every Molecule Counts.
Tessenderlo Group, through one of its subsidiaries, is one of the world’s leading producers of high quality gelatin and collagen peptides, supplying a growing market in food, pharma, health nutrition, and technical applications. Gelatin is a unique protein with multifunctional properties that make it difficult to replace it in many applications. Collagen peptides, derived from gelatin, are bioactive ingredients with benefits for skin, joints, and bones. Collagen peptides are used in food supplements, sports nutrition, and protein-fortified foods. Over the last 100 years, the group has been exploring the boundaries of producing and marketing high quality gelatins and collagen peptides from skin and bones (pork, beef), valorizing by-products of the meat industry. Recent developments in biotechnology have opened opportunities for alternative protein and peptide manufacturing and several start-up companies are experimenting with fermentation or cellular agriculture, using microorganisms or cell cultures as alternative technologies to produce peptides and proteins. However, perfect alternatives for gelatin or collagen peptides are not yet available on a commercial scale.
To further strengthen our innovation team, we are looking for a biotechnologist to identify the best available alternative protein and peptide technologies attractive for Tessenderlo Group. This requires a thorough understanding of the principles and application of fermentation and cellular agriculture, expertise in setting up a lab and scale-up facilities accordingly, and the capabilities to work with large datasets. The successful candidate will be employed in our Tessenderlo Innovation Center, which is located in Tessenderlo (Belgium), and report to the Senior Vice President Innovation.
- You will screen different biotechnology platforms for alternative proteins, building relationships with the most relevant start-up companies.
- You will set up collaborations with selected companies and make the best technology proposals for Tessenderlo Group to invest in.
- You will work closely together with the Bio-valorization business units to identify the best alternatives on which to focus.
- You will develop, with the support of different teams, the market entry strategy for a new generation of proteins and peptides.
- You will propose and lead the investment plan for upscaling alternative proteins in our pilot facilities.
- You will investigate and realize the upscaling of a portfolio of proteins and collagen peptide types in close collaboration with the technology providers.
- You will work closely together with identified biotechnology institutes and take ownership to get the most out of the collaboration, translating obtained results into value for the business.
- You will network effectively and expected to be strongly connected both internally and externally (scientific & business network).
- You will perform literature searches and patent landscaping in preparation for research projects.
- You will investigate if external research funding is feasible, and draft a project proposal accordingly in close collaboration with one of the assigned vendors.
- You will be an ambassador for Tessenderlo Group’s innovative brand image.
- PhD in Biotechnology or Biochemistry, with a focus on industrial applications
- You must have a relevant background in industrial biotechnology and possess a fundamental understanding
- of alternative protein technologies, be it in the concept phase or already a more advanced stage.
- Practical experience with a broad range of fermentation processes and organisms, and/or cellular agriculture
- Knowledge of synthetic biology and gene editing
- You must be highly motivated to constantly monitor the scientific developments and the emerging alternative technology providers.
- You should be passionate about bringing your ideas and science into reality and making an impact and progress in cross-disciplinary multicultural settings. You will be expected to interact with and influence all stakeholders in your projects, who will be colleagues from different scientific backgrounds.
- Knowledge regarding the functionality and applications of animal proteins will be considered as a plus
- Able to work with large datasets and strong in the area of statistics
- Multilingual including fluent in English (being fluent in Dutch will be considered as a plus)
- Project management experience: planning, analytical, prioritizing, and organizing abilities
- Strong customer focus and ability to understand unmet needs
- Positive attitude and drive as well as proactive communication skills
- Able to work in a multicultural environment
- Ability to translate conceptual ideas and problems into experimental programs/set-ups
- Affinity with/experience in Intellectual Property (e.g. patents) and regulatory affairs
- Capable of demonstrating positive, entrepreneurial, courageous, connected, focused, and decisive attitudes