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R&D Manager

Vancouver, BC
Victoria Newitt Recruitment has been retained by Daiya Foods​ to search for a R&D Manager.
Do you have a passion for product development and innovation?  Daiya is looking for an R&D Manager with a strong technical background, a track-record of launching innovative products, excellent leadership skills, and the ability to work cross-functional.  This role will be accountable for the delivery of a portfolio of product innovation, renovation, and optimization projects that support strategic objectives and growth.  They are equally accountable for building a high performing product development team, capable of creating technically robust products, driving breakthrough innovation, and delivering solutions that delight people and planet.
Team Leadership
  • Responsible for overall product development team performance.  Develop team culture that supports high performance, innovation, and accountability, and increases team efficiency and output. 
  • Manage & build the product development team (incl. retention, growth, training, staffing), anticipating future needs and establishing long term team plans.
  • Develop performance development plans and goals with individual team members.  
  • Coach team members to leverage individual strengths and overcome challenges.
  • Establish internal and external relationships that strengthen team’s ability to deliver project portfolio.
  • Collaborate with R&D management team to build out overall R&D processes, competencies, and capabilities.
Technical Leadership
  • Responsible to providing robust technical oversight to drive research, product development, problem solving, and decision making.
  • Strategize, design and execute experiments at all scales, gathering and analyzing data, documenting and reporting results, and making recommendations towards developing innovative products and processes.
  • Exhibit innovation in discovery, advancement, evaluation, and implementation of new proprietary technologies, products, and processes to meet company strategic goals.
  • Support team in designing and launching of technically sound product, that meet quality and business targets while ensuring food safety and regulatory compliance.  
  • Function as a key technical resource to the organization for technical projects and problems.
  • Develop relationships and actively collaborate with key suppliers, co-packers, and research groups (companies, universities, etc.), to drive new product development initiatives.
Product Portfolio Management
  • Responsible for planning, prioritizing, and delivering a portfolio of product innovation and renovation projects to support overall company strategy and growth. 
  • Work with other functional departments to identify, evaluate, and prioritize product development projects and opportunities.
  • Participate in innovation council and interdepartmental meetings to communicate project prioritization, progress, opportunities and implications, technical challenges, and resourcing constraints.
  • Manage team resourcing, assigning resources to approved projects and providing timely communication on overall resource and budget status to stakeholders.
  • Collaborate with R&D management to develop and manage project and department budgets.
Project Management
  • Partner with brand management to provide high level oversight to active projects, ensuring delivery against technical targets and overall project scope, budget, and timeline.
  • Evaluate projects at the ideation, discovery, and business case phases, and provide input on R&D resourcing and technical complexity.
  • Accountable for ensuring that the product development team is following the phase gate process and delivering on responsibilities throughout the project.
  • Provide project management and technical guidance to team members throughout the process, providing input to scope, timeline, project plans, and risks.
  • Actively participate and collaborate with other departments (operations, marketing, regulatory, finance, sales) to advance product development initiatives and achieve desired business results. 
  • Bachelor’s degree minimum, with a preference for food science, processing, or engineering.
  • 7+ years’ experience in research and development, with a focus on product development.
  • Minimum 3+ years’ experience in project and team management.
  • Experience managing multiple product projects from conception to market commercialization.
  • Demonstrated technical expertise and proven accomplishments leading a high-performance R&D team.
  • Demonstrated stakeholder management and leadership in cross-functional teams involving regulatory, marketing, sales, quality, supply chain, and operations.
  • Experience building relationships and working with external partners, including suppliers and co-packers.
  • Strong understanding of trends, food science, ingredient functionality, product development, experimental design, process technology, and commercialization, across at least two product categories.
  • Strong industry knowledge, business acumen, project management, and technical development skills, with the ability to include multiple factors in decision making.
  • Ability to set goals, create a roadmap to deliver short- and long-term results, and communicate vision and plan to team.
  • Ability to work collaboratively, approach conflict with curiosity, receive feedback, and influence others.
  • Demonstrated ability to take initiative, drive for alignment and decisions, and contribute disruptive ideas.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Strong working knowledge of Microsoft Office Suite, Office 365, Sharepoint, and Genesis
  • Ability to travel approximately 25%
  • Valid Canadian Driver’s License
  • Canadian citizenship or permanent residency status.

If this position suits your skills and experience, we want to talk to you!

Please apply by submitting your resume and a covering letter outlining why you are a suitable candidate for this exciting role.

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