• STEM Courses and Careers Supplement for the Belfast Telegraph September 2016

    STEM Courses and Careers Supplement for the Belfast Telegraph September 2016

    Following on from the successful six STEM supplements over the last 3 years both in the Belfast Telegraph in September 2013, 2014, 2015 and the Irish News & News Letter February 2014, 2015, 2016, Catalyst Inc (formerly the Northern Ireland Science Park) in partnership with Matrix, the NI Science Panel, [...]

  • Irish Academy of Engineering revives the Parsons Medal

    Irish Academy of Engineering revives the Parsons Medal

    The Irish Academy of Engineering has announced the revival of the award of the Parsons Medal and is seeking nominations for the award from engineers or engineering scientists of exceptional ability in research or engineering technology, designated as “The Irish Academy of Engineering Parsons Medal for Engineering Sciences” Background The Parsons Medal commemorates [...]

  • New £80k digital business competition for tourism

    New £80k digital business competition for tourism

    Economy Minister Simon Hamilton today announced a new £80k Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) competition to develop innovative, real time tourism technology solutions. The SBRI competition is seeking technology solutions to encourage visitors to explore more, do more and spend more during their visit to Northern Ireland. The Minister said: [...]

  • DAERA launches £350k research initiative for Mobuoy Road Waste site

    DAERA launches £350k research initiative for Mobuoy Road Waste site

    Environment Minister Michelle McIlveen has officially launched a new £350k Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) competition to encourage and stimulate the development of innovative remediation technologies for the Mobuoy Road waste site and other illegal waste sites. Funding for this SBRI competition has come from the Executive’s Pilot SBRI Challenge [...]

  • Belfast City Council launches Smart Cities competition

    Belfast City Council launches Smart Cities competition

    Belfast City Council has launched an initiative to become a Smart City, looking at new and innovative ways to tackle traditional urban challenges and support the city’s aims and ambitions. The council is working with the Future Cities Catapult and city partners to develop a long-term road map towards a smart Belfast. [...]

  • NI Science Park rebrands as Catalyst Inc in major expansion plan

    NI Science Park rebrands as Catalyst Inc in major expansion plan

    The Northern Ireland Science Park announced its ambitious plans for growth today, including the support of 5,000 additional new jobs and three new buildings, taking the total area to 1m square feet. As part of the expansion the Science Park has rebranded itself as Catalyst Inc - the new name reflecting the [...]

MATRIX, the Northern Ireland Science Industry Panel, is a business led expert panel, formed primarily to advise government, industry and academia on the commercial exploitation of R&D and science and technology in Northern Ireland.

We produce regular, in depth reports which outline the work, findings and recommendations of our specialist panels. These reports are an invaluable resource for anyone interested in how new technologies and market opportunities can be developed within the Northern Ireland economy and beyond.

Find out more about our reports

What we do

Our role

We advise government, industry and academia on the potential for commercial exploitation of R&D and science & technology for the Northern Ireland economy.

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Our impact

Our recommendations have influenced the development of key strategies such as the Programme for Government and the Northern Ireland Innovation Strategy.

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Our partners

We work in partnership with a wide range of professional organisations, all working together to help build a sustainable economy in Northern Ireland.

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STEM

STEM Charter

We first highlighted the importance of innovation, research and development in Northern Ireland’s STEM industries in 2008 and we’ve been promoting it ever since.

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The panel

We have a main panel of twelve business and academic leaders, supported by a small secretariat team based in DETI. The panel is chaired by Brian Keating, Managing Partner of CIP Partnership and visiting Professor of Entrepreneurship at the University of Ulster, while the Deputy Chairs are Norman Apsley, Chief Executive of the Northern Ireland Science Park and Seagate’s Dr. Rob Hardeman. Other panel members include Professor Jim McLaughlin OBE, Dr. Joanne Stuart, Citi director John Healey and Bombardier’s Gavin Campbell.

Find out more about the panel

Current work

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MATRIX has a robust programme of work in place, from our main Horizon panel reports to smaller reports and ‘thought pieces’ for government and strategic bodies. We are currently working on two Horizon reports and developing a library of reports that we have produced and others that the panel and secretariat have selected from other bodies.

ICT Digital

open data

Our ICT Digital report has just been launched.

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Advanced materials

Our advanced materials project is now underway.

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The library

An online collection of reports we have used for reference and research.

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Latest news

The MATRIX website is the home of Northern Ireland R&D, science and technology news.

  • STEM Charter

STEM Courses and Careers Supplement for the Belfast Telegraph September 2016

August 12th, 2016|0 Comments

Following on from the successful six STEM supplements over the last 3 years both in the Belfast Telegraph in September 2013, 2014, 2015 and the Irish News & News Letter February 2014, 2015, 2016, Catalyst [...]

Irish Academy of Engineering revives the Parsons Medal

July 27th, 2016|0 Comments

The Irish Academy of Engineering has announced the revival of the award of the Parsons Medal and is seeking nominations for the award from engineers or engineering scientists of exceptional ability in research or engineering technology, designated as [...]

New £80k digital business competition for tourism

July 1st, 2016|0 Comments

Economy Minister Simon Hamilton today announced a new £80k Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) competition to develop innovative, real time tourism technology solutions. The SBRI competition is seeking technology solutions to encourage visitors to explore [...]

Read more news

Live SBRIs

The Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) connects public sector challenges with innovative ideas from industry, supporting companies to generate economic growth and enabling improvement in achieving government objectives.

SBRI provides innovative solutions to challenges faced by the public sector and generates new business opportunities for companies, providing SMEs with a route to market for their ideas and bridging the seed funding gap experienced by many early stage companies. It supports economic growth and enables the development of innovative products and services through the public procurement of research and development (R&D).

Listed below are all live SBRIs.

May
27
Fri
Open funding competition
May 27 @ 9:00 am – Sep 7 @ 12:00 pm

Innovate UK is to invest up to £15 million in innovative R&D projects. These projects are designed to help businesses develop new products, processes and services with commercial potential. The aim is to enhance UK competitiveness, growth and improve national productivity.

The competition is open to the best business-led ideas or concepts. These can be drawn from any technology, engineering or industrial area, including Innovate UK’s 4 priority sectors for growth.

We want to fast-track ideas to commercial success. Projects should demonstrate disruptive, cutting-edge innovations and businesses should demonstrate ambition and potential for growth.

The competition will be open to both small and medium-sized enterprises and large companies. They can work individually or collaboratively.

Projects may focus on:

  • feasibility studies which may include a proof of market
  • industrial research
  • experimental development

We expect projects to last 6 to 36 months. They can range in size from total eligible project costs of £25,000 up to £1 million, depending on the type of project.

There are two options to apply into this competition. These are dependent on the size and length of your project. These options are called streams. Stream 1 is for projects under 12 months and under £100,000. Stream 2 is for projects over 12 months or over £100,000.

The competition opens on 6 June 2016:

Jun
1
Wed
Women in innovation
Jun 1 @ 9:00 am – Aug 31 @ 2:00 pm

Innovate UK is launching a new initiative, infocus, to spearhead our work to encourage diversity in innovation and to boost the UK economy.

Women in Innovation is the first action under the infocus initiative. Innovate UK will invest £200,000 to get more women innovating in business. We want to enable and encourage more women to participate in Innovate UK competitions and take advantage of our support.

We are running this process to identify 12 women who will benefit from a unique tailor-made package of support. In addition, 4 of these women will also receive £50,000 to further their plans and make a stellar impact in the world of innovation.

The competition is open to any woman in the UK with experience in business innovation.

The awards will open for applications on 1 June 2016.

You must register before noon 24 August 2016.

You must apply before noon 31 August 2016.

Jun
27
Mon
APC6 – accelerating the drive to low carbon propulsion
Jun 27 @ 9:00 am – Sep 21 @ 12:00 pm

Provisionally up to £25m in collaborative research and development funding is available in the latest round of Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) competition funding, delivered in partnership with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and Innovate UK.

The aim of the competition is to develop on-vehicle technologies. These can be for either on-road or off-road vehicles.

We are seeking proposals for collaborative research and development projects. They should be in one or more of the following technology areas:

  • internal combustion engines
  • lightweight vehicle and powertrain structures
  • electric machines and power electronics
  • energy storage and energy management
  • alternative propulsion systems

We are particularly encouraging projects that will develop disruptive technologies. They should also show how they will speed up the route to market for these new technologies.

You must show how the project will strengthen UK capability and develop the UK’s supply chain in the field of low carbon vehicles.

We expect projects to range in size from total costs of £5 million and £40 million. Projects should last between 1 year 6 months and 3 years 6 months. We may consider a project out of this range. You should contact the APC to discuss this before you apply.

All projects must be collaborative. You must include at least one vehicle manufacturer and/or a tier 1 supplier as part of your consortium. You must also include at least one SME partner.

The competition opens on Monday 27 June 2016.

You must register before noon on Wednesday 14 September 2016..

You must apply before noon on Wednesday 21 September 2016.

Automatic threat detection of firearms
Jun 27 @ 9:00 am – Aug 31 @ 5:00 pm

The aim of this competition is to further improve the detection capability of illegal firearms, component parts and ammunition.

The Home Office’s Office for Security and Counter Terrorism (OSCT) is investing up to £2 million in automatic threat detection (ATD) of firearms innovation projects over 2 years as part of a 2-phase open call. This is a Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) competition run in partnership with Innovate UK.

Proposals should show how they will enhance existing x-ray screening techniques through the development of automatic threat detection (ATD) algorithms.

The competition opens on Monday 27 June 2016.

You must register before noon on Wednesday 24 August, 2016.

You must apply before noon on Wednesday 31 August.

Register and apply online

Attend the briefing event for potential applicants in London on 7 July 2016.

Jul
4
Mon
Belfast Smart Cities
Jul 4 @ 9:00 am – Aug 29 @ 12:00 pm

Smart Cities

We are leading an initiative to become a Smart City looking at new and innovative ways to tackle traditional urban challenges and support the city’s aims and ambitions. To achieve this, we are working with local businesses, universities, community organisations and government agencies to find ways to make Belfast better through the use of information technologies and data analytics.

Other cities across the UK including Glasgow, Bristol, Liverpool and Milton Keynes have started to adopt similar approaches and are successfully using modern technologies to think differently about tackling city problems and addressing social, environmental and economic outcomes. These cities are receiving funding from a range of sources and co-investment opportunities including SME expertise to drive their own city growth and innovation agendas.

We want a smart Belfast where we can harness the city’s state-of-the-art digital infrastructure, public open data, the world-class products of our data analytics and software SMEs, and the leading edge research of local researchers to create excellent services for our citizens.

We aim to support our local companies to turn ideas into commercially successful products and are trialling new methods of developing and fostering innovation.

This short video explains our approach.

We’re working with the Future Cities Catapult and city partners to develop a long-term road map towards a smart Belfast. The road map will set out our priorities and commence the development of a pipeline of projects that we will want to collaborate on with specific deliverables within defined timescales.

Small Business Research Initiative Competition: Maximising business rates revenue in Belfast

We are launching a Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) competition in partnership with the Northern Ireland Land and Property Services and Future Cities Catapult.

The aim of the competition is to encourage the development of timely, accurate, cost effective and equitable solutions that can be implemented to maximise business rate revenue for the city.

During the competition a total budget of £130,000 will be available. In phase one, up to six companies will receive a maximum of £5,000 each to develop their ideas to concept stage. The best two or three of these will receive an equal share of the remaining £100,000 up to a maximum of £50,000 each to turn their ideas into commercially viable products to be sold.

  • To find out more about the competition, download the competition brief (PDF – 387KB)
  • To register your interest and enter the competition, visit our tenders page to complete an application.
    Deadline for submissions: 12 noon, Friday 26 August 2016.
Real Time Tourism Solutions
Jul 4 @ 9:00 am – Aug 26 @ 12:00 pm

Tourism Northern Ireland (TNI) wishes to identify a solution that encourages visitors to explore more, do more and spend more during their visit to Northern Ireland. In addition, TNI wishes to extract real time (or near real time) data to supplement Tourism Performance statistics that will provide indicators of visitor’s movements around Northern Ireland, spend and satisfaction with their experience.

Why? Tourism Northern Ireland has identified that a well-informed visitor explores more, spends more and has a better experience. Research commissioned by TNI in 2010 to inform the Visitor Information Plan for Northern Ireland found that 55% of visitors to a Visitor Information Centre (VIC) proceeded to visit an attraction they had not planned to, thereby increasing dwell time in the area .

A successful outcome from Phase 1 and 2 would be:

  1. A prototype solution that compels visitors to explore more of Northern Ireland.
  2. Integrated data sets providing a foundation to achieve real time analytics.
  3. Metrics detailing specifics of visitor trips such as: Visitor journey and movements around Northern Ireland; Where they stayed and for how long; Where they visited.
  4. A dashboard that can be shared with industry partners.

Budgets

  • The total budget for phase 1 is £15,000.
  • The total budget for phase 2 is £65,000.

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