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South west innovations inspire African leader

Photo credit: Mike Alsford

Innovations around the environment, technology and science were the focus of a visit to the south west by an African ruler this week.

Her Royal Highness Queen Diambi Kabatusuila from the Democratic Republic of Congo, visited the Met Office and Exeter Science Park, where she met leaders from across the south west region and a number of businesses based at the Science Park.

Queen Diambi has been working with the South West Business Council (SWBC) on an international programme regarding Plastic Free Oceans.

Tim Jones, Chair of SWBC, said: “Queen Diambi felt that a strategic alliance could be valuable and would provide support for her own attempts to clean up plastic pollution in the six major rivers within the Congo basin and the consequential impact that this has on oceans, drinking water, health and communities.

“We have developed a good working relationship with her. She is truly an international figure, with influence across a number of continents. She has a glittering series of achievements and is an intellectual superstar.”

Queen Diambi is also International President of the South West Business Council.

During the visit to the Science Park Queen Diambi met leaders and business people from across the region and took part in a round table discussion focused on ocean plastics. She then received a tour of the Park and spend some time talking to businesses based there.

She said: “I have really enjoyed being here and speaking to all these business leaders of the community and seeing the immense efforts they are doing relating to environment issues…it has been breath-taking and refreshing at the same time.

“I love the fact I have learned so much about these developments and how they can also benefit the African continent and that is very exciting.”

Sally Basker, Chief Executive of Exeter Science Park, said: “We were delighted to welcome Queen Diambi to Exeter Science Park. We have some truly innovative environmentally-focused organisations based here, delivering pioneering work and we valued the opportunity to meet with her and demonstrate some of this work.”

The Exeter Science Park companies who met Queen Diambi include representatives from the following businesses:

·       Smarti

·       Treeconomics

·       Quanterra Systems

·       Binit

·       Securious

·       Klarian

·       Stantec

·       Intelligent AI

·       University of Exeter Smart Grid

·       University of Exeter Centre for Clean Mobility

·       SetSquared

Sally added: “Queen Diambi related to many of the ideas that were discussed to her own experience in Africa and elsewhere. It felt like the beginning of a strategic relationship for both the Science Park and many of the organisations she met during her visit.”