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Chitin/Chitosan Product Development Scientist

CuanTec is an innovative small company which has developed a World-first proprietary process to naturally extract chitin from various source materials including shellfish waste which would otherwise be incinerated. CuanTec’s proprietary technology naturally maintains the full chain length of this amazing biopolymer while providing the purest grade chitin available anywhere in the World, enabling a wide range of applications in the pharmaceutical, cosmetics, biomedical, and food industries. 


CuanTec’s first products include strong, transparent, and flexible bio-based films to replace single-use plastics. Biodegradable, compostable, and naturally antimicrobial, these films can not only replace hugely damaging and wasteful single use plastics but can also extend the shelf life of fresh foods and produce wrapped within the films, ensuring that they last longer, with no moulding and less food waste.


Following a significant new investment from Hive Energy, we are building our first commercial-scale biobased extraction facility at Glenrothes in Scotland in 2023. At the same time, we are expanding our R&D team in our new labs in Clydebank to develop commercial chitin and chitosan-based products using our own chitin production resources. 


The ideal candidate will have:


  1. A PhD degree in biobased polymer materials science, chemistry, chemical engineering or biochemistry with extensive experience of chitin or chitosan-based materials production and applications.

  2. Proven track record in developing commercially viable products gained within a manufacturing environment such as packaging, cosmetics, medical devices, or pharmaceuticals with experience of fermentation methods highly desirable.

  3. A natural preference for team-working in fast-paced challenging environments and a desire to grow with the business and having direct influence over its future and enhancing and leveraging the company’s vision.



Key Accountabilities include:

  • Developing chitosan-based formulations for anti-microbial and compostable packaging products in the form of stand-alone films or coated natural packaging materials (i.e. coatings).

  • Developing chitin-/chitosan-based products in various segments including biomedical, battery, and drug delivery applications

  • The molecular weight (MWT) and degree of deacetylation (DDA) is critical for the successful implementation of our unique chitin. The ideal candidate will help build upon our library of chitosan derived from our unique chitin and will develop repeatable, natural methods to create chitosan with various DDA and MWT.

  • Determining the most reliable and repeatable method to determine the DDA and MWT including further development of analytical methods using FTIR, X-Ray diffraction, chromatography, titration, or Bench-top NMR. 

  • Providing scientific support and guidance to operational colleagues for the commercial manufacture of chitosan and the ongoing development of the manufacturing processes.

  • Collaborating with customers to determine their product needs, and with colleagues to manage the development and delivery of a products with good value propositions. 

  • Generating registered IP (Patents) for innovative products in association with CuanTec’s IP attorneys.  

  • Upholding working practices to keep colleagues safe from harm and maintain the company’s safe codes of conduct.

  • Generating and managing work plans/GANTT charts and reporting progress against these. 


The role will be based at CuanTec’s new R&D facility in Clydebank. The total compensation package will be competitive, including pension, life insurance, and critical illness cover, and will reflect the level of expertise of the successful candidate.

To apply please provide a CV to highlighting your career, focusing on your skills and personal achievements and a cover letter explaining why you are the ideal candidate. 

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