Contractor appointed for Torbay’s EPIC Centre


Torbay Council has appointed Interserve as the contractor to take forward the design and planning for the £8m Electronics and Photonics Innovation Centre (EPIC).

EPIC will further enhance Torbay’s reputation as being at the epicentre of development and innovation in a growing photonics and electronics clusters, responding directly to the needs of the sector, supporting prototyping, test development methodology, Research & Development and providing shared space for innovative hi tech start-ups developing state of the art technology alongside established businesses working in these sectors.

Torbay’s elected Mayor and Executive Lead for Finance and Regeneration, Gordon Oliver, said: “Torbay is one of the top five locations in England for photonics expertise and a key location for advanced electronics engineering. EPIC will provide an important centre for research, product design and new development in cutting edge hi tech manufacturing. Torbay’s strong local supply chain, highly trained employees, excellent access to markets and integrated business network will further support this project.”

EPIC will provide open market access to laboratory and clean room facilities, accommodating specialist equipment to support R&D, prototyping, innovation and collaboration in emerging technologies, and developing new intellectual property.

Martin Foulger, Chair of the Hi Tech Forum, said: “The facility will promote collaborative activity between businesses and research institutions, commercialising R&D and bringing forward technology to the marketplace, along with accommodating and supporting start-up and spin-off tech companies and foreign direct investment to the local cluster.”

Torbay is home to both world leading UK and US multinationals with end users that include all of the best-known names in telecoms, space, and optical systems technologies. Global leaders in technology like Oclaro, Gooch & Housego, Spirent and II–VI Photonics are all located in Torbay. Alongside these are Bay Photonics and EFFECT, who are smaller, specialised innovation leading companies in photonics integrated circuits (PIC) packaging and other hi tech manufacturing. This cluster has cemented Torbay’s reputation as one of the most important locations in the UK for advanced electronics and particularly photonics, knowledge and expertise.

TDA will project manage the build of the centre and operate it when it is complete. Alan Denby, Director of Economic Strategy and Performance at TDA, said: “These companies are committed to major ongoing investment in the region. EPIC will be the hub for the growth and development of the existing hi tech cluster. The project will engage regionally, nationally and internationally to support the attraction and growth of businesses in this cluster.

“We are engaging with companies across the UK to discuss how they can maximise this opportunity by using the Centre’s facilities and working alongside the Torbay cluster to share and learn from their expertise.”

Opening in 2018, the state of the art facility located at White Rock Business Park will create 220 jobs.

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