Support and strengthen the Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) strategy at NEOM. Supervise the development of CEA assets and associated business cases. Evaluate and develop sustainable agricultural solutions for CEA. Develop and manage the execution of the innovation strategy for CEA including NEOM facilities and partnerships with Universities and private or public research institutions, in line with NEOM’s business needs. Work closely with the business development team in developing strategic partnerships supporting the development and scale-up of CEA at NEOM in line with technical imperatives and market demand.
NEOM aims at providing opportunities for people to live healthy, productive, and fulfilling lives, while sustainably using the natural resources they depend on. NEOM works with governments, local and international businesses, and knowledge institutes to transform ideas into policy, policy into action, and action into impact. NEOM uses its technical knowledge and experience, passionate staff, local presence, and global influence to make a lasting difference in people’s livability, especially in desert-like conditions in a world facing climate change.
Our Agriculture & Livestock pillar focuses on Sustainable Markets, Food and Nutrition Security, and Climate Change. The senior manager of Controlled Environment Agriculture will lead our local and global initiatives in this field.
Key Accountabilities & Activities
- Support, develop, and manage a business and technology-driven CEA strategy in line with NEOM Agriculture business needs
- Supervise the design, development, and implementation of CEA assets - glasshouses and greenhouses, indoor farms – from selecting production systems, overseeing bids, and selecting vendors, to monitoring construction and commissioning, together with construction project management entities.
- In collaboration with relevant internal and external stakeholders, ensure the development of solutions for the capture, storage, and analysis of production data in order to optimize conditions that will drive productivity and quality
- Develop and manage the execution of the innovation strategy for CEA including determining technology focus, developing pilot and research facilities and partnerships with Universities and private or public research institutions, in line with NEOM’s business needs
- Maintain a deep understanding of strategic developments in CEA, selecting, validating, and implementing technology solutions that will ensure profitable production of quality products in line with market demands.
- Ensure seamless collaboration with relevant departments and business units to facilitate the development and execution of the CEA strategy.
- In coordination with the business development team, support the development of strategic relationships on CEA with relevant industry partners.
- Develop and lead collaboration with universities and public or private research institutions to further the CEA program at NEOM.
- Coordinate space allocation in the greenhouse and other controlled environments.
- Develop and enforce greenhouse policies, procedures, and rules with guidance from the Controlled Environment Committee.
- Support the development of nurseries to support agricultural and nature enhancement programs.
- Ensure outstanding results and a high level of quality in our Controlled Environment Agriculture programs.
Background, Skills & Qualifications
- At least 10 years of experience in the CEA industry.
- Deep understanding of business and technology trends and strong professional network in Controlled Environment Agriculture.
- Evidence of holding multidisciplinary senior management positions in a multicultural or international environment
- Passion for NEOM’s mission to deploy the latest technologies to reach Food Security in a desert environment.
- Courageous, creative, and conceptual thinker with excellent planning skills.
- Ability to work with various internal stakeholders, and manage multiple projects across the enterprise.
- Strong track record in successfully developing and executing initiatives in a competitive environment.
- Fluent in English (fluency or working knowledge in Arabic is a plus)
- MSc or Ph.D. in Plant Sciences, Agriculture Science, Horticulture, or related field required.
- 10+ years of work experience, preferably with both academia and industry-relevant background.
- MBA or comparable business experience is a plus