The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh met managers of some of the very large number of local companies that have benefited from the Cardiff University Innovation Network.
The Innovation Network, cited by the Department of Trade and Industry as an example of good practice, provides businesses with access to the University's people, expertise, technology and resources in order to solve problems and grasp opportunities. It also enables companies to 'network' with other organisations or individuals to develop new products and processes.
Mr Colin Jones, of Jones Chromatography, part of the Cardiff University Innovation Network, with Her Majesty and managers of the Network.
"The Queen's very first question on entering the Council Chamber was 'What are the benefits to companies?' " said Sarah Jenkins, Business Manager of the Innovation Network. "This was answered very enthusiastically by one of our members, Colin Jones, of Jones Chromatography, who explained that the benefits of having access to such a wealth of expertise were 'tremendous' ."
With Graham Hunter, Managing Director of Coils UK Ltd, an active member of the Innovation Network.
"Myself and colleagues Andrew Powell and Graham Hunter of Coils UK spent five minutes with The Queen in the Council Chamber", said Professor Tony Moses of the Wolfson Centre for Magnetics Technology. "Graham showed her the most advanced shower unit in the UK which contains Coils UK components to which The Queen quipped 'is it so advanced that it doesn't need water?' "
"My general impression was pleasure at the interest The Queen took and the relaxed way in which we could talk to her", said Professor Moses.
Martin Parfett of the eCommerce Innovation Centre, who works closely with local business Pentwyn Splicers developing their business on the Internet said, "The royal visit and the interest shown in our links with small business add a final seal of approval to the work we do encouraging, helping and supporting such companies adopt eCommerce."
"The Duke suggested that anything British that helped the faltering textile trade must be a good thing and was interested if he could use the same technology with his fly fishing lines." said Graham Winter of Penwtyn Splicers.
Dr Bernard Richardson, of the Department of Physics and Astronomy, and his colleagues from Nimbus Technology, who produce mastering equipment for CDs, said although The Queen was interested in the technology it was the Equerry and The Duke of Edinburgh who had really 'gone digital', even watching one of The Queen's horses running in a race via the Internet.
Mr Alan Fern, of Federal Mogul Sealing Systems, explains to The Queen how his company has benefited from its relationship with the University.
Sarah Jenkins, Manager of the Innovation Network, introduces Her Majesty to Dr Jennifer Cryer of Molecular Light Technology Research.
The Duke of Edinburgh chats with Mr Neil Williams of Trikon Technologies Ltd.