Science and technology speakers give a glimpse of the future

The Chamber’s Exeter initiative for Science and Technology welcomed speakers from Greenpeace, Alcatel Lucent and the Centre for Additive Layer Manufacturing at its July event. Sixty science and technology orientated businesses attended the event held at the Innovation Centre, at the University of Exeter.

The three speakers covered a range of topics: Greenpeace, whose Exeter-based research laboratories provide scientific advice and analysis to the globally renowned environmental campaigners. Dr David Santillo gave an overview of how his team’s work informs Greenpeace campaigns and provides scientific advice and analytical support to Greenpeace offices worldwide.  Case studies included the human and environmental impact of recycling our electronics and the effect of hazardous chemicals used in garments: the resulting campaign Detox has gained commitment from retailers including Marks and Spencer and Zara to clean up their supply chains.

Neil Tilley, Global Solutions Director at Alcatel Lucent, whose Bell Labs is one of the largest innovation and research organisations in the communications industry, gave the group an insight into technologies that are under development.  This included the ability to incorporate a 3D ‘you’ into electronic presentations, dubbed ‘The Weatherman’.

The third speaker, specialist engineer at the Centre for Additive Layer Manufacturing, Richard Davies, talked attendees through some of the business projects the centre has collaborated on, including a prototype for a new kind of electronic sound effects device, Midi Moov, developed by Bristol based musician Lee Arromba and his colleagues at TangibleFX.

Robert McIlwraith, Chair of the ExIST group and board director of Exeter Chamber, said “It was great once again to hear of so much science and technology activity going on in and around Exeter and to hear about the future of human/technology interfaces.  I urge science and technology organisations to make sure they join us at future events. “

The event began with another win for the TES FE College of the Year.  Exeter College were awarded STEM assured status by the New Engineering Foundation.  Iain Hatt, Assistant Principal at Exeter College, said “I am really pleased to be here at the ExIST group meeting to accept our STEM Assured award in the presence of others who share our enthusiasm towards this important sector. The STEM Assured standard validates the high quality of the College’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics provision, as well as our partnerships with employers and a range of industry sectors.”

“The College recognises the challenges faced to educate more students in these key subjects, which will be vital for the future growth of many important industries and the national and local economy. Achieving this STEM Assured award, our investment in state of the art facilities and the support of such valued industry partnerships will help to ensure that Exeter College is able to provide outstanding teaching, learning and training opportunities to the Scientists, Engineers and Mathematicians of the future.”

For further information on this event and future events visit

Picture caption:
Iain Hatt (left) is presented the STEM assured Award by Dr David Whan (right) of the New Engineering Foundation at the ExIST event, hosted by Chair Robert McIlwraith (centre).

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