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Head of Biopolymer Product Development

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 on a site is to be opened in Scotland in Spring 2023.

We are seeking a Head of Biopolymer Development to lead R&D team 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 or chemistry preferably with extensive experience of chitin or chitosan-based materials and applications.

  2. Proven track record in developing commercially viable products gained within a manufacturing environment such as packaging, cosmetics, medical devices, or pharmaceuticals.

  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:

  • Develop chitosan-based formulations for anti-microbial and compostable packaging products in the form of stand-alone films or coated natural packaging materials.

  • 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.

  • Determine the most reliable and repeatable method to determine the DDA and MWT including recommending the best analytical methods from FTIR, X-Ray diffraction, chromatography, titration, or Bench-top NMR. 

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

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

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

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

  • Generate and manage work plans/GANTT charts and report progress against these. 

  • Manage all internal R&D / NPD staff and external collaborative scientific partnerships. 


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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