Product Development Chemist

An opportunity exists for an experienced Product Development Chemist at CuanTec’s facility at the European Centre for Marine Biotechnology, near Oban. The Product Development Chemist will develop film forming compositions, from chitosan and other natural biopolymers, and the process of converting these into flexible films for food packaging and similar applications.

CuanTec Ltd, established in January 2017, comprises an innovative small team who work first-hand with the food sector creating chitinous based high value products, such as  food preserving agents and anti-bacterial compostable bio-plastic packaging, from by-products of food processing industries.

Knowledge, Experience and Skills required:


  • A first degree or masters degree (or equivalents) in materials science, chemistry, polymer science, bioengineering or similar with expertise in biopolymers, film formation, product design and development gained from an industrial or applied academic experience lasting a minimum of 5 years.

  • Candidates with a PhD (or equivalent) incorporating the same disciplines as above should have a minimum of  3 years post-doctoral experience in a product or technology application setting. 

  • Expertise of materials testing and characterisation; food packaging expertise would be considered distinctly advantageous.  

Key Tasks and Responsibilities:


  • Lead the programme for developing a fully biodegradable, and ultimately compostable food packaging. 

  • Manufacture blends of chitosan and other natural biopolymers and assess their characteristics and suitability for forming films via common methods such as coating, casting and extrusion.

  • Develop and utilise safe laboratory methods for producing sample films from chitosan blends.  

  • Characterise prototype films and compare against proprietary alternative and commercial food packaging films, in order to define end-product performance to generate commercial interest.

  • Accurately document experimental observations and data and produce CoA for products to be used by, or demonstrated to, commercial partners or customers. 

  • Liaise with industry partners, academics and consultants to conduct food-packaging trials and use the data from these trials to feedback into product development programmes.

  • Provide a summary progress report each month.

  • Carry out work safely and hygienically and fully support the company safety policies.

The role requires unsupervised, competent and safe working within a laboratory facility and includes further responsibilities such as: consumable stock management; laboratory clean-down; reagent preparation, experimental design and performing analytical procedures. Expertise in data analysis and providing good written and verbal reports are essential, as is the ability to work in a fast-paced flexible environment, to ensure the timely delivery of work-packages.

You will be expected to collaborate with members of the team who work remotely and you should be eager to learn new skills and knowledge to develop your personal capabilities to assist your career progression and to realise the ambitions of a dynamic young company. Working within a small team means that no two days are the same and the successful candidate will have ample scope to grow his or her capabilities and take on more responsibilities as the company develops.

The role will be based at CuanTec’s facility very close to Oban but some travel may be needed at times to support some collaborative projects. The remuneration package will be competitive, including pension, and will reflect the level of expertise of the successful candidate.

To apply, please provide an up to date cv highlighting your skills, tangible career and personal achievements, and accompany this with a cover letter explaining why we should consider you.