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Latest News

EPIC - A Bright New Future for Torbay

18th February 2019

Categories: Latest News

EPIC (Electronics & Photonics Innovation Centre) opens at Whiterock, Paignton in May 2019. This exciting new £8m facility will offer state-of-the-art offices and laboratories to high tech firms around the South West.

Owned by Torbay Council and operated by TDA, the new centre will support the growth of the sector and build on Torbay’s reputation as a centre of excellence, at the forefront of emerging technologies. EPIC will provide open market access to cleanroom and laboratory facilities with specialist equipment to support R&D, prototyping, innovation and testing in emerging technologies.

With the new South Devon Highway in place, Torbay is fast becoming the Silicon Valley of the South West with a diverse mix of UK and US multinationals and cutting edge start-ups.

The facility will promote collaboration between businesses and research institutions, commercialisation of R&D, and the acceleration of innovation in new technology, supporting the spin-off and start-up tech companies, as well as large multinationals and foreign direct investment.

Small scale manufacturing will take place on site with successful prototypes sent for large scale manufacturing to other plants across the world.

The centre draws in European Regional Development Funding (ERDF), Coastal Communities Funding and Growth Deal support. It will also provide capital equipment and facilities along with specialist sector support from a Centre Director and Business Advisor. It will create 220 new jobs, support 70 high tech businesses and support 14 collaborations between industry and academia.

Alan Denby, Director of Economic Strategy at TDA, said: “TDA sees this as a pivotal moment in the history of this site. Our aspirations for EPIC are to spearhead new innovation and collaborations in photonics and electronics across the South West. Within a few years we expect to see a broad range of new innovations, prototypes, patents and products brought to market from the high tech companies based here.

“EPIC is a hugely important project which complements TDA’s work with schools to raise awareness of science and engineering opportunities available locally through our MADE project.”

Much of the growth in the area is fuelled by industries such as photonics which is a form of technology using light. Photonics is known as an “enabling” technology, allowing other technologies to work better and faster. It is the technology behind ultra-fast fibre optic broadband, LEDs, touch screens, augmented reality and Smart Homes, and is going to provide 5G, autonomous vehicles and the ability to grow crops in office blocks!

Torbay’s expertise in satellite and space communications, telecommunications, and healthcare and quantum photonics descends from a strong legacy of knowledge and expertise. Torbay’s reputation is unparalleled as one of the most important locations in the UK for advanced electronics and photonics.

The cluster of high technology companies in Paignton continues to grow at a rapid 8-10% annually, employing over 1000 people and generating £108m to the local economy.

EPIC is already having a positive effect on the workforce economy with the development of the South Devon Hi-Tech and Digital Skills Centre, built by neighbouring South Devon College. It is expected that the new skills centre will provide infrastructure for workforce development, skills and training, along with grow-on space for fast scale-up companies.

For more information about EPIC, visit www.tda.uk.net/our-projects/epic or call TDA on 01803 207948. Twitter @EPIC_UK

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