Wild Bioscience is on a mission to develop the world’s highest yielding crops and to decarbonise food production. 50% more food is needed by 2050 and current approaches would require 600 million hectares of wild land converted to farmland. Wild Bioscience’s solution leverages evolution to design crops with improved traits; their two major product categories are yield enhancement – the biggest lever to sustainable food production, and carbon removal – the biggest lever to combatting climate change.
Wild Bioscience’s technology platform combines evolutionary biology, AI and high-throughput cell biology test systems in a process called Re-Evolutionary Design. This draws inspiration from plants that thrive in the wild and have already evolved solutions faced by today’s domesticated crops. Their business model is to develop and launch products to farmers in collaboration with partner seed producers.
The company is growing fast! Recently they have achieved their first field proof of concept for their first trait products, and they have secured the biggest agbiotech seed fundraise in UK history at £12m. The development of new facilities, a strategy to grow and launch further products, has resulted in the expansion of the team and the need for new skill sets.
As a result, Wild Bioscience is seeking to appoint a Chief Business Officer to focus on building relationships with trait launch seed partners and major seed companies.
Reporting to the CEO, the Chief Business Officer will have responsibility for the development of partnerships with seed & trait companies across the globe. This includes negotiation, ability to hold technical discussions and portfolio and project management. The role will network extensively throughout the sector, and the globe, with an additional remit to identify opportunities to engage in R&D partnerships and to secure route to market and revenue streams for breakthrough Wild Bioscience products. This involves:
- Identifying, building and maintaining relationships with relevant partners, customers and stakeholders as the main point of contact.
- Leading partner acquisition, contract negotiations, and coordinating Wild Bioscience’s team and advisors to drive toward successful partnership deals.
- Identifying and securing research and in/out licensing partnerships to negotiate access to technologies, traits and genetic resources to strengthen Wild Bioscience’s IP portfolio.
- Leading business negotiations, contract review and management of documents including Partnership Agreements, MTA’s and CDA’s.
- Working with Wild’s finance team in developing financial models for entering into new markets, including market analysis and prioritization of markets. Defining resource requirements, profit potential for new products and markets.
- Leveraging industry and market feedback to identify emerging opportunities to launch breakthrough crop development technologies.
- Leading on regulator engagement and associated de-risking activities to support regulatory path for new products and to feed back into associated product timelines.
- Building the business case and model for accessing sustainability-related revenue streams built on Wild Bioscience’s yield enhancement and carbon removal technologies.
- Collaborating with product development to identify and prioritize crop, technology and market combinations.
- Participating in relevant industry meetings and trade shows, as well as engaging with potential partners globally for both inbound and outbound opportunities.
The successful candidate will be a natural collaborator with clear leadership skills and confidence to shape Wild’s business development strategy. An ability to work with the R&D team and a strong desire to work hands-on in a fast-changing environment are a must. More specifically the appointed candidate will come from an R&D leadership, Open innovation or R&D partnership and/or Business Development background within the seeds & traits sectors and will be able to demonstrate experience of making strategic decisions. Experience in contract review and negotiations is preferred. A strong, international network is needed to succeed in this role as is the evidence of successfully identifying technologies and partners, including closing deals to build a customer base. A personable character with a good ability to build a rapport internally, and externally, is also required for the role.
The Head Office is based in Oxford but this is a global role and can be based in the UK, Europe or the USA with access to the major seed trait and seed companies required.
This is a full-time role with expectations on regular, global, travel.
If you believe you have the experience, passion for innovation and leadership-focus to be successful in this role then please call Anette Fink at Eden Search & Select on 07542 031670. Eden Search & Select are managing all applications on behalf of Wild Bioscience.