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Global Head New Ag Tech

Job Id:  1481

Durham, North Carolina, North Carolina, United States

Department:  R&D Management & Program Management Office
Function:  Regulatory, Research and Development
Employee Type:  Permanent Full Time
Seniority Level:  Executive


UPL is focused on emerging as a premier global provider of total crop solutions designed to secure the world's food supply. Winning farmers hearts across the globe, while leading the way with innovative products and services that make agriculture sustainable, UPL is the fastest growing company in the industry. Our successes in the field add up to powerful financials. UPL delivers results from protecting crops that translate into attractive investor value. Based on the recognition that humankind is one community, UPL's overarching commitment is to improve areas of its presence, workplace and customer engagement. 


Our purpose is 'Open Ag.' An agriculture network that feeds sustainable growth for all. No limits, no borders.


UPL has recently established a new function within its growing R&D organization entitled New Ag Technologies. The role of this function is to scout, identify, technically evaluate and, in partnership with other technical and business functions, make a recommendation to partner with external entrepreneurs and innovators on new crop protection, plant stimulant, and stress protecting chemicals and biologicals, which support sustainable agriculture. This team also has the role of searching for opportunities to reshape and reinvent existing technologies within the UPL portfolio by providing new insights and positioning in collaboration with Product Development, Regulatory Affairs and business teams.


The Global Head of New Ag Technologies will lead and guide the team of expert, multi-disciplinary scientists who are focused on the aforementioned activities. They will ensure a constant flow of new opportunities are identified, evaluated and progressed to the next stages of the R&D process. They will actively develop a visible and positive external presence with the agricultural science and innovation community and ensure that their team is strongly aligned across the UPL organization. They will oversee the New Ag Technologies function's work in three locations - U.S, France and Mexico. They will report directly to the Chief Technology Officer. 



  • Be an evangelist for UPL's open innovation strategy and develop our brand as a preferred partner for New Ag Technologies. 
  • Design and implement "smart" R&D principles to capture, imagine and evaluate new crop input technology combinations thereof from either external partners or from UPL's current portfolio that address the unmet needs of growers across the globe. 
  • Be responsible for scouting, identification, evaluation process for New Ag Technologies, according to the defined strategy of the organization, for launch in a short to long-term horizon (approximately 2-7 years). 
  • Remain current on crop trends, emerging technology trends and educate the organization on coming New Ag Technology opportunities thereby ensuring a link between market needs, growers pain points and future technology. 
  • Build, develop and motivate a team of multi-disciplinary scientists and technical staff that operate according to "smart" R&D principles and are focused on delivering promising New Ag Technologies into later stages of the R&D process.
  • Drive associated projects, in a determined and agile fashion, up to the point of first field proof of concept whereupon it becomes possible to build a top down, science driven business case that is underwritten by solid use profile, estimated COGs and detailed proposal for the regulatory pathway to market. 
  • Establish a connect for New Ag Technology scientists with respect to Portfolio/Category Teams in Marketing, Product Development & Regulatory Affairs offering leadership for their respective projects and key practical support for Life-Cycle management projects.



Education: PhD in Agriculture Sciences (or equivalent); Masters in Agronomy/Agriculture Sciences 

Experience: 15+ years of professional experience in Product Development, Field Research, Ag Technology functional areas in both a corporate and/or early stage company environment. 


UPL's new OpenAg Center was opened on June 8, 2020 in the Research Triangle Park (RTP) area of North Carolina in the United States. RTP has been a central hub technology companies for more than 60 years and is today one of the most important centers of agtech innovation in the US. Our RTP facility is part of the Alexandria Center for AgTech, a collaborative life science and technology development. Our neighbors in the building may include many established and early stage agtech companies, as well as Launch Labs space available for start-ups.


The OpenAg Center was conceived to be a center of open innovation for UPL, with labs and glasshouses to support the work of a world-class New AgTech team led by the Global Head New Ag Technologies. It includes 25,000 square feet of greenhouse and assocated support space and 36,000 square feet of offices and labs devoted to biostimulants and plant pathology, biofungicides, herbicides, seed treatment and biosolutions, bioinsecticides, MOA and chemistry. 


The office space, greenhouses and labs are now open and in the process of becoming fully operational.