BB Photonics locates in Torbay with $1m investment

(Last Updated On: July 1, 2015)

US owned BB Photonics UK Ltd has joined Torbay’s growing cluster of photonics companies, opening a new facility in Plymouth University’s Brixham Laboratory. The company is in an incubator environment together with other Torbay Hi Tech Forum members EFFECT Photonics and Bay Photonics.

BB Photonics UK (Ltd) is working on the research and development of advanced photonic receivers for 100GbE and 400GbE. The company is specifically developing high-speed devices using waveguide photodiodes that operate at 25Gb/s and 50Gb/s. These are incorporated into the photonic circuit platform with wavelength de-multiplexers that enable higher density and data rates.

The company plans on investing close to $1m over the course of the next 3 years and to create several high tech research and development engineering positions. The research and development will be based on its photonic circuits and focusing principally on high speed RF packaging and test. This will add to the reputation and expertise in the Torbay photonics sector for strong R & D, design and development knowledge. The company is applying for additional grants in the UK to support the R&D effort and is setting up a high-speed RF test and optical characterization lab.

The company is currently sponsoring a research associate position at the University of Glasgow on high speed RF characterization and working with University of Swansea on advanced film deposition. The nearby Electron Microscopy Centre at Plymouth University is providing the company with device analysis services for its photonic circuits.

Jason Buck, Investment Development Manager, TDA, said: “We are excited to be working with BB Photonics UK Ltd on their next phase of growth and as a US owned company are very pleased they chose Torbay to do this. They know that the reputation and expertise within Torbay’s photonics cluster in R&D, design and new product development can support their growth.

“This is also recognised by the Heart of the South West LEP who have supported with their soft landings funding through the Plymouth City Deal. Photonics is a key enabling technology, which will provide Torbay the opportunity to receive much more of this kind of investment and employment.”

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. The area’s cluster comprises of a mix of leading tech giants, SMEs and micro businesses. Due to the excellent skilled workforce in Torbay and leading innovation in emerging technologies, the opportunities for the development of the local cluster continues to grow.

The Torbay Hi Tech Forum cluster and BB Photonics are members of the European Photonics Industry Consortium and will be looking to generate further Foreign Direct Investment into Torbay, regenerating the local economy. This is driven in large part by the new Torbay Electronics and Photonics Innovation Centre (EPIC), opening in early 2017 at Whiterock in Paignton. The Centre will provide the ideal location for photonics companies in R & D who want to be in a collaborative space to work from and attract further investment from hi tech sector companies.

Founded in 2014, BB Photonics Inc. have their corporate headquarters in New Jersey and were looking to expand and invest in the UK to tackle European markets and develop a footprint in the region.

CEO and President of BB Photonics Inc, Bill Ring said, “Torbay offers the right area for the company in the UK due to the long history of communications development in the area going back to Standard Telephone and Cables. The expertise that exists was a key driver in the decision process and we know there is great local and regional support for photonics companies to grow and succeed.”

BB Photonics Inc is a corporate member of the Optical Society of America and Bill is a key speaker at the PIC (Photonics Integrated Circuits) International Conference in 2016 in Brussels.
For more details on Torbay’s growing Photonics cluster please call Jason Buck, Investment Development Manager, TDA on 01803 208799.


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