Electronics & Photonics

Delivering world changing technology

Torbay is the epicentre of a specially designated High Potential Opportunity area in Photonics & Electronics, as identified by the Department for International Trade. This focuses on setting out the capability, expertise and opportunity that exists for foreign owned business who are considering expanding to the South West.

With a long heritage and legacy, Torbay is one of the top five locations in England for photonics & microelectronics expertise and engineering skills. The area is home to both UK and foreign owned companies with end users that include all of the best known names in telecoms, space, and optical systems technology.

An internationally important location for research and development, new product design and innovative hi-tech manufacturing, Torbay has a legacy of having a strong local supply chain, highly trained employees, excellent access to markets and world renowned research facilities.

“We don’t think there’s a better place in the world for a photonics business.”

Jack Sudworth – EFFECT Photonics Ltd

A growing community of international hi-tech companies 

Global leaders in technology like Lumentum, Gooch & Housego, Spirent, Prior Queensgate, EFFECT Photonics , II–VI Photonics and Nanusens are all located in Torbay. These companies are committed to major ongoing investment in the region.

Alongside these businesses are other companies specialising in photonics integrated circuits (PIC) packaging and quantum technology such as Bay Photonics. This has cemented our reputation as one of the most important locations in the UK for advanced electronics, and particularly photonics, knowledge and expertise. All of these companies are members of the Torbay Hi-Tech Cluster.

A dedicated Electronics and Photonics Innovation Centre (EPIC) 

Torbay has a dedicated Electronics & Photonics Innovation Centre (EPIC) at White Rock in Paignton, enhancing Torbay’s reputation as a centre of excellence for photonics and microelectronics. 

EPIC supports new product development, prototyping, testing R&D and shared space for innovative hi-tech companies. The centre houses one of the only open access class 7 cleanrooms in the South West.

EPIC is a modern purpose-built innovation centre dedicated to electronics and photonics companies. In addition to modern labs and offices, EPIC also has technical capability to support R&D, design and new product development. 

The concept of EPIC is not only to provide both a class leading facility but source equipment and services to support innovation. In addition to the substantial investment in a fully classified cleanroom, EPIC also offers tenants access to a fully equipped prototyping suite located on the ground floor.  

Significant local expertise and dedicated training

The cluster working with South Devon College have co designed an industry specific training programme to provide the future talent pipeline for our growing companies. This programme will welcome both entry level students looking to enter the sector at a practical level, to those furthering their career to achieve high level engineering qualifications to degree level.

A firmly established business network 

The growth of the Torbay cluster is further strengthened by the Torbay Hi-Tech Cluster, a local network of hi-tech businesses, universities and trade associations.

EPIC and the Torbay Hi-Tech Cluster are focussed on raising their profile internationally. They exhibit and present frequently at major international photonics and electronics events which has resulted in the region becoming a globally recognised area for technology and innovation.

The cluster is also a member of the European Photonics Industry Consortium and other global industry cluster associations and is highly integrated and active in pursuing opportunities for collaboration, innovation and investment. 

No shortage of skilled engineers and technicians

Quality of life, affordable commercial property, competitive wage rates and good connectivity make Torbay an excellent place for hi-tech businesses to relocate to. With salaries competitive to other comparable tech locations in the UK and with expert highly skilled individuals coming through our colleges and universities, finding qualified engineers is easy.

Hear about EPIC, the Hi-Tech Cluster and surrounding infrastructure

For more information

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