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Research and Development Officer

This is an exciting position with a young, successful and innovative company based on beautiful Rathlin Island, off the north coast of Co. Antrim.
Islander kelp farm kelp and produce high end non dried algae products which are exported into the NL, Germany, Switzerland and Ireland, with small amounts going to the UK. They are the only producers of fresh cooked kelp noodles, kelp pesto, relish etc. in Europe, but to date have been unable to capitalize on the suggested health and nutritional benefits of kelp.

This position will enable the company to validate health, nutritional and potentially medical benefits of kelp and work on the potential uses of kelp in new food products, that can carry proven health claims. The work will also involve research on three different species of kelp, and take account of growing conditions, as such, some knowledge of algae farming etc. will be useful.

Details

  • Employment with Islander Kelp LTD will be based on Rathlin Island, but the employee will be expected to travel independently including to Institute of Technology Sligo and to our commercial partners, En Place, TCFG, Queally Group, and Odaios Foods.
  • Contracted hours are on demand, by mutual agreement, with respect for employee availability and will equate to 37.5 hours per week.
  • Answerable to the Operations Director
  • Leave 24 days plus statutory pro rata

Job description

Duties:

  • Undertake pertinent desk research into robust research findings on the the nutritional, health and medical of digitata laminaria, saccharine latissima and alaria esculanta.
  • Liaise with and build working partnerships with colleagues in Institute of Technology Sligo on functional food development.
  • Work with commercial partners, TCFG/Queally group, Odaios, Ensway Foods and En Place in exploring the potential and route to new product development.
  • Explore the development of other new and innovative, functional food based, algae products, in particular for smoothies (Ocean Approved, Maine USA), and any others that can be identified.
  • Identify research needed to validate potential food value claims, or/and to enable the development of new high-end functional food products.
  • Work with IT Sligo, and other relevant partners to carry out additional research (this may also involve sending product to private labs).
  • Prototype new food products, and carry out testing. Test products against different kelp species and profiles in relation to seasonal differences.
  • Work with the OD and GM to identify costs and potential profit of new product suggestions
  • Explore and negotiate route to commercial production with our product partners TDFG and En-Place Foods.
  • Keep good quality records of work carried out, findings, and monitoring information.
  • Service the project management committee, including preparing reports for the committee and taking minutes of meetings etc.
  • Take part in any training organized for the business, including that related to food management and safety, cultivation, practical and at sea activities.

Hours of work

  • Hours will be flexible depending on growing phases of kelp.
  • Work is between the hours of 08:30 and 17:00.
  • Employees are occasionally required to work weekends.
  • Employees are required to keep an accurate record of hours work

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