Director - Robotics & Automation


4890 Victoria Avenue North, Vineland Station, Ontario

General Outline: 

Vineland Research and Innovation Centre (Vineland) is recruiting for Director, Robotics & Automation to work in an industry-driven research environment. Vineland is a world-class research centre dedicated to horticultural science and innovation. Located in Canada’s Niagara Region, Vineland’s mission is to deliver innovative products and production solutions that address the needs of the horticulture industry and advance Canada’s research and commercialization agenda. We are an independent, not-for-profit organization, funded in part by the Canadian Agricultural Partnership.

Our people are the most important asset in achieving our goals and are known in the world for excellence in science and entrepreneurship. Our staff enjoys an exciting and challenging work environment noted for collaboration and knowledge sharing.

Vineland welcomes and encourages applications from people with disabilities. Accommodations are available on request for candidates taking part in all aspects of the selection process.

Must be legally entitled to work in Canada.

Duties & Responsibilities: 

Reporting to the Vice President, Research and Development (VP, R&D), the Director, Robotics & Automation plays a key role in the organization to lead an integrated and cross-disciplinary team of engineers, scientists and technical staff focused on developing automation technologies for the Canadian horticulture sector. The role requires leadership, management and a technical background, a business outlook and highly developed people skills for leading a high functioning team that delivers results with commercial impact.

Key Duties & Responsibilities:

Client relations:

  • Support the VP, R&D to scout new R&D opportunities, develop relationships with industry and understand priority issues in the Canadian horticulture sector
  • Cultivate support and investment for research with technology, engineering and manufacturing companies, growers, food processors, producer groups and other potential clients and partners
  • Build and maintain collaborative R&D and business relationships
  • Communicate results and represent Vineland at technology, industry, government and public events
  • Program management
  • Manage robotics and automation programs with multi-disciplinary teams of engineers that include robotics, computer vision, machine learning, data systems and related expertise
  • Manage finances and resources in the range of $2-6M per year including budgeting, staffing, purchasing, etc. as well as securing external investment to ensure programs are adequately resourced
  • Program/project design, planning and problem-solving in support of corporate objectives
  • Set annual targets, ensure risks are mitigated, team members are held accountable and milestones are met
  • Interface with the business office and senior management to develop commercialization strategies, negotiate agreements and manage intellectual property
  • Ensure due diligence is carried out and quality control is maintained on projects including competitive analysis, collaborative partnerships and overall approach

Human resources:

  • Manage a cohort of direct reports including engineers, scientists and technical staff with HR responsibilities that include: hiring, performance management, training and professional development, succession planning, vacation and sick leave
  • Coach and develop future leaders within the group

Management and administration:

  • Lead and coordinate implementation of the automation objectives within Vineland’s innovation strategy
  • Develop, maintain and administer organizational processes and initiate improvements as necessary
  • Assist with the development and maintenance of a management philosophy consistent with the corporate strategy to maximize employee engagement
  • Provide advice and participate in senior management strategy, decision making and planning processes
  • Prepare reports, proposals, plans and presentations for internal and external audiences
  • Maintain a safe and healthy work environment and ensure policies and procedures are followed


  • Minimum of ten years in automation technology development and/or product development at a senior management level
  • Engineering degree in a relevant field
  • Superior communication and interpersonal skills
  • Experience in leadership of cross-functional teams
  • Familiarity and experience with project management principles, processes and tools
  • Familiarity with intellectual property (IP) protection and management
  • Sound working knowledge of budgeting, business development and corporate planning
  • Self-assured, confident, self-motivated and goal-oriented
  • Strategic, insightful, creative and adaptable. Able to handle complex situations and a dynamic work environment.

Additional Info: 

This is a full-time permanent position.

How to Apply: 

This position is open until filled. Click on the Apply Now button.