Torbay Hi-Tech Cluster is fast becoming the Silicon Valley of the South West of England

Torbay Hi-Tech Cluster is fast becoming the Silicon Valley of the South West of England

Undeniably, the COVID-19 crisis has had an unparalleled worldwide impact. Companies and employees have had to get used to social distancing and new ways of interacting to keep the work going. Besides the day-to-day discomforts, we have all been witness to the adverse effects on business, communities and society. Mankind is resilient, however. Teleworking, webinars and teleconferences are now considered normal practice, and may well continue even when the pandemic is finally over. For many, the need to commute each day or move to another city will come to an end, or at least become less common.

At the same time, the crisis has created new opportunities for businesses. Home working has generated increasing demand for extra bandwidth and speed, resulting in enormously increased internet traffic. In addition, as our social lives have been limited to our homes, download movies, teleshopping, gaming or just surfing the web are now at the core of our daily life. The next generation of 5G communications networks will have to enable all those extra applications and implement the necessary functionality into smartphones and tablets. These are now becoming essential aids to living, whether at home or on the move.

The companies that will sustain our new way of living see a bright and promising future. One place in the world where this life-changing technology is taking shape is the Torbay Hi-Tech Cluster, in the south west of England. It is composed of firms supported by academic partners including South Devon College and regional universities, local governments, the Torbay Development Agency, and the Electronics and Photonics Innovation Centre (EPIC). Based in Paignton, Devon, EPIC offers brand-new, dedicated, ready-to-use lab and clean room facilities for relocating tech companies. According to the BusinessLive article, the attractiveness of the Torbay cluster lies not only in its concentration of highly skilled workers and the advantages of engaging easily with other high tech companies: ambitious SMEs may also benefit from special funding programmes to move all or part of their company there.

Without a doubt, Torbay is now one of the most important locations in the UK for advanced microelectronics, and particularly photonics. With a growing cluster of hi tech businesses, Torbay is fast becoming the Silicon Valley of the South West with a diverse mix of EU and US multinationals. The services and applications developed here use advanced, leading-edge technology and telecom products designed by an impressive collection of companies. They include established international organisations, like Lumentum, II-VI, Gooch & Housego and Spirent, and new innovative organisations built on local talent, like Bay Photonics, Davies & Bell and EFFECT Photonics.

EFFECT Photonics delivers highly integrated optical communications products based on its Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing (DWDM) optical System-on-Chip technology. Its engineers at Brixham, in the Torbay area of Devon of the UK , work very closely with their counterparts at the Netherlands facility in Eindhoven. Since 2015, the Brixham facility has been focusing on process design and development for (volume) manufacture, including assembly, quality testing and shipping processes.

To sustain the company’s staggering growth, EFFECT Photonics is looking for talented individuals; varying from high-quality manufacturing staff and specialised professionals to trainees. It particularly welcomes talent with ambitions to be part of a world-shaping industry in its early stages. The invitation from Brixham comes with a warning though: you will have hardly any time to look out of the windows and enjoy the fantastic view!

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Torbay Hi-Tech Cluster
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