Electronics & Photonics Innovation Centre
Torbay Electronics & Photonics Innovation Centre
What is EPIC?
EPIC will be an £8m, 3,700m2 state of the art facility located on White Rock Business Park in Paignton, Devon. It will be a centre of excellence for innovation in microelectronics and photonics.
The Centre will provide open market access to specialist laboratory and clean room facilities, accommodating specialist equipment to support R&D, prototyping, innovation and collaboration in emerging technologies The Centre will provide office, meeting room and collaboration space, along with incubation facilities to support start-up and spin-off tech companies.
Due to be operational by Q3 2018, the Centre draws in European Regional Development Funding, Coastal Communities Funding and Growth Deal monies. The Centre will provide capital equipment and facilities along with specialist sector support. It will create 220 new jobs, support 70 hi-tech businesses and support 14 collaborations between industry and academia.
EPIC will also complement the new proposed development of South Devon College’s new Hi-tech Skills Training Centre – providing a new Institute of Technology.
What will EPIC do?
The aim of the Centre is to encourage:
- Collaboration between academia and industry
- Commercialising R&D
- Enabling knowledge transfer
- Accelerate innovation, prototyping and product development
- Bringing forwards new technologies to the marketplace
EPIC will be a centre of excellence in supporting technological innovation in enabling technologies. It will help raise national productivity and enable the UK to remain internationally competitive in emerging technologies sector.
The facility will promote collaborative activity between businesses and research institutions, commercialising R&D. It will bring forwards the latest new cutting edge hi-tech innovations to the marketplace, along with accommodating and supporting new start-ups and spin-off tech companies in the sector.
The Centre will specifically enable companies to:
- Access specialist hi-tech equipment and facilities
- Support commercialisation of R&D
- Design and develop prototype technology
- Test and validate new technologies
It will act as hub for the growth and development of the existing local hi-tech cluster. The project will engage with the emerging support infrastructure both regionally and nationally, along with forming partnerships with other complementary Centres.
About Torbay Photonics and Microelectronics Cluster
Torbay and South Devon is nationally recognised by industry as one of the top locations for electronics and photonics expertise in the country, and has a strong and growing cluster. Today there is a significant cluster of photonics companies which have emerged from the development of fibre optics, with particular strengths and capabilities in innovation, prototyping and development of new technologies.
The area is home to both UK and US multinationals across the telecoms, space, and optical systems technology sectors. Key companies across Torbay and South Devon include specialists in advanced manufacturing, electronics, photonics, optical coatings, Global Navigation Satellite Systems, fibre optics, and Radio Frequency & wireless manufacturing, along with microelectronics for harsh environments.
The local hi-tech cluster employs over 960 full time staff and indirectly supports many more, contributing over £108m per year to the local economy, half of which is exported internationally to over 15 countries.
The areas cluster comprises of a mix of both, leading OEM and tier 1 tech giants, SMEs and micro businesses. Due to the strong skills legacy within the industry and innovation in new emerging technologies, the opportunities for the development of the local cluster continues to grow.
Torbay has witnessed major ongoing investment in the cluster, in specialised photonics integrated circuits packaging and specialist hi-tech manufacturing – over £4.7m in four years, along with securing some large inward investments.
Torbay’s Hi-tech Forum
Supporting the development of EPIC and Torbay’s growing hi-tech cluster across Torbay and the wider South Devon is the Torbay Hi-tech Forum. Established in 2010 the Forum has grown to represent over 200 individuals and a cluster of 32 hi-tech member companies.
The Torbay Hi-tech Forum meets bi-monthly, and is hosted by member companies. The Forum provides an opportunity for companies to learn of support and initiatives which are available to support the growth of their businesses, along with networking and a forum to raise collaborative or partnership working opportunities.
For further information contact:
Investment Development Manager
Senior Economic Development Officer