Torbay Hi Tech Forum going from strength to strength

(Last Updated On: August 10, 2016)

Torbay’s Elected Mayor, Gordon Oliver, said: “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 strong and growing cluster which continues to provide more high value employment across Torbay and South West. Torbay is especially known for research and development and new product design and innovation.

“Amidst this continued growth, the Torbay Hi Tech Forum has recently appointed Vice-chair Andrew Robertson. I would like to congratulate Andrew on his appointment and the Council continue to support the Hi Tech Forum and its ambitions.”

Andrew is Senior Vice-President of the Systems Technology Group within Gooch & Housego. He holds positions within a number of key industry groups and sits on the UK Photonics Leadership Group and is part of Photonics21, which represents the photonics community of industry and research across Europe. This additional experience will help steer the cluster to further its success both nationally and internationally.

Martin Foulger, Chair of the Hi Tech Forum, said: “It is great to welcome Andrew as part of the Hi Tech Forum at a time when the electronics and photonics industry, and companies in Torbay are seeing remarkable growth. With the imminent development of the Electronics and Photonics Innovation Centre in Paignton which is due to open in April 2018, it is a really exciting time for the cluster, which is continuing to grow from strength to strength. It is great to have Andrew join the Forum leadership, and I am sure that he will be a strong advocate for the sector and for the area.”

Andrew Robertson, Vice Chair of the Hi-tech Forum, said: “I am delighted to take on the role of Vice Chair of the Torbay Hi-tech Forum. We have a strong cluster of photonics companies within Torbay and South Devon which are all involved in exciting developments and opportunities. The opportunity to play a key role in the leadership and direction of the Forum, in order to support the development and continued growth of the sector, is a challenge which I look forward to embracing.”

There have been a number of significant achievements by companies across the cluster in recent weeks including a second Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade for Optek Systems and a Queen’s Award for Innovation for Gooch & Housego.

Oclaro, a provider of optical and laser components, based in Paignton, was listed as the best performing company for gain in market value. In 2015, on the Silicon Valley 150 index, Oclaro’s stock value appreciated a staggering 178%, more than any company in Silicon Valley.

Daniel Newman, Senior Economic Development Officer at TDA, said: “It is great to see the companies within the cluster performing so well, having worked closely with them through the Torbay Hi Tech Forum. The forum offers support, coupled with a combined expertise from all the hi tech companies, which has seen them thrive. Adding Andrew to the board will give the companies in the cluster another experienced industry leader to work with.”

Torbay Hi Tech Forum is one of the most influential business groups of its kind, providing a crucial platform for collaboration, innovation and co-operation within Torbay’s vibrant technology sector, particularly within photonics and advanced electronics.
With a membership that boasts world-leading companies, the Forum meets regularly to discuss opportunities to promote the sector in Torbay, access funding for growth and develop collaborations across industry sectors.
The Torbay Hi-Tech Forum is a cluster member of the European Photonics Industry Consortium.
Through the Education Sub Group there are direct links with local schools and colleges – a useful partnership for businesses looking for engagement with the next generation of talent and inspiring young people to pursue a career in technology, engineering and advanced manufacturing.
The area’s cluster comprises of a mix of leading 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.

The next Hi Tech Forum takes place on Friday 30th September at 09:00.

For more information about the Hi Tech Forum visit or call Daniel Newman on 01803 207827.


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