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R&D specialist in a research-to-market project based on recent materials physics breakthroughs

The project (European Commission ERC-PoC starting 01.09.2022) aims to bring to market an exciting recent innovation in the field of cholesteric liquid crystal elastomers, enabling non-electronic colorimetric strain sensors. The targeted fields are wearable technology and structural health monitoring, respectively. In collaboration with post-docs with expertise in the physics and chemistry at the heart of the new sensor, and under the leadership of Prof. Jan Lagerwall (head of ESMP), the successful candidate will address technical challenges in production upscaling while also analyzing the two targeted markets with respect to product fit. The key deliverables are a business model and business plan for each target market, on the basis of which investors can be engaged to seed a spin-off company that will bring the innovative strain sensors to market.

As the project bridges entrepreneurship, business development, engineering and soft matter physics and chemistry, you will be working closely with the scientific members of the research group. While your responsibility is to enable the research-to-market step by (1) identifying key obstacles to upscaling production, and finding viable solutions, (2) analyzing the target markets and consequently refine the product focus and (3) develop the business model and business plan (with the support of an external consultant), you need to have sufficient interest in and openness towards physics and chemistry that you can learn and understand the fundamental working principle of the material at a level where you can work constructively with your physics and chemistry colleagues. The exceptionally interdisciplinary scope of the project renders it highly stimulating and provides a unique holistic training opportunity in fundamental science-based entrepreneurship. It also makes an openminded, curious and collaborative attitude and good communication skills an absolute requirement, since a continuous exchange of ideas, results and information between team members, and joint decision making, is vital for project success.

We are looking for an excellent candidate who possesses:
1) a degree in entrepreneurship/business administration and/or M.Sc. in physics, engineering, materials science or related field (PhD is an additional asset but is not required);
2) interest in learning complementary skills required to span the bridge from entrepreneurship challenges to materials engineering;
3) an entrepreneurial mindset and good business acumen;
4) commitment and capacity for team work and critical thinking;
5) fluent written and verbal communication skills in English.
5+ years of relevant experience of interdisciplinary research, entrepreneurship and company foundation will be considered strong advantages

We offer and 18-month contract with competitive salary at an equal opportunity employer. You will be working in an exciting international setting and be a part of a committed team situated in a fast growing and dynamic research environment. Since the goal of the project is to lay the foundation of a spin-off company, success in the project has high likelihood of producing follow-up employment opportunities.

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The application deadline is 31 July 2022.