Sanergy Research and Development Manager Job in Kenya

Sanergy is an award-winning social enterprise that employs the circular economy approach to treat and convert all forms of urban waste into organic fertilizer and insect-based animal protein.

Sanergy manufactures and distributes Evergrow Organic Fertilizer and Kuzapro Insect Based Animal Protein, under the Farm Star brand.

We are an increasingly sophisticated, highly intricate organization with many moving parts.

Sanergy seeks accomplished, driven individuals who will make substantive contributions to the organization.

We are currently seeking a Manager – Research and Development.

Role Mission: R&D is a critical facet of Sanergy’s growth and success. In order to safely treat high volumes of waste, R&D needs to develop processes and products that can profitably convert wastes into value.

Furthermore, R&D delivers value by improving existing processes and products to increase volumes, margins and quality of our products.

The R&D Manager leads this team and is responsible for everything that entails, including strategy development, ownership of the early stages of the technology development and product and process specifications.

Key duties and responsibilities

R&D strategy

  • Setting the tech pipeline strategy with the NTCO Director and Sanergy leadership team
  • Formulate and execute coherent plans for delivering this strategy
  • Delivered improvement to volume growth through improving yields and throughputs from existing processes
  • Delivered improvement to the bottom line through gross margin and production cost reduction R&D-lead projects
  • Ensure alignment of strategy with overall business strategy as well as actions of other internal teams
  • Make recommendations at various technology “gates” to progress or kill potential products or processes
  • Responsible for developing and identifying strategic partnerships and collaborations with external technology developers, including universities, companies and research institutions

Project management

  • Support Sanergy’s technology strategy and lead development of the R&D project funnel
  • Lead the delivery of R&D projects
  • Support and input into relevant non-R&D projects
  • Lead the development of project scope, timeline, budget and risk management plan
  • Lead stakeholder management through stakeholder engagement, interviews, presentations and updates
  • Coordinate cross-functionally for the successful implementation of a project
  • Lead project post-mortem
  • Lead the prioritization of team activities

Product and process development

  • Take potential new products into pilot phase
  • Build, plan, manage and coach the product and process workstream teams to:
    ○ Conduct broad literature search to identify and shortlist potential future technologies for feasibility assessment
    ○ Conduct desk research on shortlisted technologies to determine initial technical or economic feasibility
    ○ Conduct lab scale research to determine refined feasibility analysis
    ○ Conduct pilot-scale research to determine the feasibility of technology at a larger scale and capability
    ○ Execute research that supports the continuous improvement of existing processes
  • Fully responsible for owning and developing specifications for products and processes

Execution of trials

  • Leads R&D team to design, execute and analyse trials
  • Ensures trial mix is consistent with project funnel
  • Ensures team involves relevant stakeholders in trials, including preparation, execution, wind-down and communication of results
  • Ensures trials are properly budgeted
  • Support the formulation of trial protocol
  • Coordinate trials, where required
  • Provide input to, review and sign-off trial reports

Systems and processes

  • Identifies gaps in current Sanergy R&D and NTCO systems and process and puts in place processes, systems and documentation to address those gaps
  • Develops technology transfer and replicability strategy for future technology development
  • Accountable for developing effective systems to manage project funnel and key gates or decision points
  • Responsible for developing systems and processes that effectively balance resources for trial execution
  • Responsible for creating internally consistent document management systems and processes that retain R&D knowledge and make that data easily accessible and known to the organisation
  • Responsible for developing and maintaining internal specifications management systems and processes

Quality support

  • Assigns resource to support R&D-relevant RCAs
  • Responsible for ensuring handovers of technology and products to production include clear, attainable, documented specifications
  • Responsible for deciding and approving concessions to product and process out of specification
  • Builds customer feedback into R&D project funnel
  • Responsible for ensuring product specifications meet relevant regulations and laws

Operations support

  • Act as first point of contact for Head of Operations
  • Supports resolution of technology-related issues
  • Provides assistance to customer-facing teams by providing key insight and direction on product offerings or limitations

Professional development

  • Initiate update discussions (project, team and team lead)
  • Initiate feedback discussions for self and team
  • Identify professional development needs of self and team and seeks opportunities for professional development, including training, coaching, mentoring and workplace activities
  • Coaching and mentoring of team members and cross-functional teams
  • Initiate personal development discussions
  • Initiate, lead and facilitate prioritization discussions

Team development

  • Share subject matter knowledge and create opportunities for team sharing
  • Coach and mentor own team and cross-functionally, where required
  • Lead the creation of team culture and morale within the NTCO R&D team consistent with the wider NTCO team
  • Lead team performance reviews
  • Responsible for career development discussions of R&D team members, and enabling their career progression
  • Fully responsible for team structure and staffing strategy to deliver team expectations.


  • Bachelor’s degree in Science or engineering degree in the following fields; entomology, biology, chemical engineering – MSc. will be an added advantage
  • Min of 5 years experience in a Research and Development related role
  • Experience managing a research and development team
  • Prior experience in having developed technical products and taken them into market
  • Demonstrated working knowledge running trials and designing experiments
  • Successfully executed continuous improvement projects in previous role/s
  • Should have project management skills i.e delivered projects successfully in budget, on time, and in full
  • Experience rearing insects – Candidates with BSF (Black Soldier Fly) experience will have an added advantage
  • Experience working with waste treatment processes

Required Documents

  • NHIF
  • NSSF
  • Police Clearance Certificate
  • Academic Transcripts and Academic Certificates

Apply via

Interested applicants are invited to make their applications HERE, attach a detailed CV with contact details of three referees by 10th July, 2020.

Please note that the applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

Biology Chemisty Sciences, Agriculture and Agribusiness
Updated: July 2, 2020 — 2:33 pm