In less than three years, the Electronics & Photonics Innovation Centre in Torbay has established itself as an internationally-recognised hub for technology.
EPIC tenants develop and manufacture essential components that are found inside everyday items that we have all come to rely on. These include our smartphones, in-ear headphones and the infrastructure to improve our internet connectivity. These technologies are also applied to other sectors such as Aerospace, MedTech and Defence.
These businesses are not just supplying the technology that helps make our lives safer and smarter, they are creating the high-value, year-round jobs that supports the local economy. In fact the 13 companies currently operating from EPIC have created more than 100 new roles since its completion in October 2019.
A key part of EPIC’s success has been its strategy to market itself on a global stage. EPIC has exhibited at relevant technology tradeshows in the UK, the USA and mainland Europe promoting the centre and the wider cluster. This has resulted in three foreign-owned organisations choosing to grow their business in Torbay at EPIC.
Jan Mink from Dutch owned EPIC tenant, VTEC said: “We have been looking for a facility like EPIC for 20 years. This is exactly what we needed. VTEC is very excited about collaborating with the businesses here and becoming a part of the EPIC Community.”
Supporting the needs of the existing local cluster has also been an important part of EPIC’s journey. It has secured funding to purchase £2.5M worth of shared prototyping equipment that has resulted in local businesses winning new contracts and attracting funding.
One key objective of the centre was to provide a modern environment that attracts a new generation of electronics and photonics engineers. This has been achieved in abundance with scores of young people working alongside experienced engineers. The industry is also attracting a better gender balance and skilled workers from all over the globe.
EPIC Centre Director, Wayne Loschi, is delighted with the progress. He said: “It’s fascinating to see how EPIC has evolved over recent months. We have welcomed some lucrative new companies to the centre and seen existing tenants experience rapid growth. It’s a very exciting time for EPIC and Torbay.”
EPIC has been a focal point for collaboration between local businesses and academia. Partners such as South Devon College and Exeter University have worked with industry to learn more about the relevant skills needed to develop a strong pipeline of young professionals coming through.
In addition to developing the microelectronics industry, EPIC has also welcomed software specialists. These businesses work with high profile clients such as BBC, TikTok, the MoD, the Police Service and the NHS all from within EPIC. Matt Blay from, Superb Media, believes there is a natural fit “We have managed to attract several young, ambitious software specialists since moving to EPIC. This has enabled us to win new contracts and keep this talent in the area.”
EPIC hosted an internal Tenants Networking Day recently. This provided an opportunity to celebrate the success of the centre and to showcase the new companies who have moved to EPIC. The expectation is that EPIC will continue to attract new businesses in the upcoming months as it looks to fill the remaining few units. To find out more about EPIC please email Centre Director, Wayne Loschi (email@example.com) or visit www.epic-centre.co.uk
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