The MATRIX website is home to the latest Northern Ireland science & technology news, the most relevant reports and of course our own studies on Northern Ireland’s tech sectors and how best to grow them.

MATRIX is proud to support the 2018 Year of Engineering

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Latest Science & Technology News

  • Future Screens NI wins £13m AHRC investment

    A cross sector creative partnership, Future Screens NI, which is a collaboration between Queen’s, Ulster University and local industry partners, has announced a £13 million investment to secure the future of the creative industries in Northern Ireland. The new Creative Industries R&D partnership has been established to accelerate growth through [...]

  • Universities collaborate on Belfast City Deal

    Ulster University and Queen’s University Belfast have announced their commitment to work together to support innovation and drive economic growth across the region. Through an unprecedented collaborative approach, both institutions are currently developing integrated projects in key sectors, such as Digital, Creative Industries, Advanced Manufacturing and Health, to invigorate the [...]

  • CCEA launches £150k SBRI to develop crowd sourced exam questions

    A new Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) fund worth £150,000 has been launched by the Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment (CCEA) to develop a new technology which provides an opportunity to generate exam questions in a ‘crowd-sourced’ manner. Organisations can apply for a share of the fund through a [...]

  • Institute of Physics to hold a Technical Careers Fair in Derry

    This year's IOP Technical Careers Fair will take place on Friday 9th November 2018 from 10am to 2pm in The Student Zone, North West Regional College, Strand Road, Derry/Londonderry. Registration will open in September on the IOP Conferences website. Last year's fair was  widely welcomed for its clear advice to [...]

  • NWCAM survey of the NI Life & Health Sciences sector

    Catalyst Inc is calling on companies in the Life and Health Sciences industry sector to fill in a 15 minute survey. The newly formed North West Centre for Advanced Manufacturing (NWCAM) based at Catalyst Inc and supported by EU Interreg VA funding aims to develop highly skilled, value-adding innovative industries [...]

  • Armagh Planetarium Rocket Challenge lifts off

    Armagh Planetarium took part in Engineering Open House Day on Friday 3rd August with their very own Rocket Launch Challenge. The Planetarium hosted families and school groups for a one day special workshop demonstrating Isaac Newton’s Third Law of Motion - ‘For every action there is an equal and opposite [...]


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What is Matrix?

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 NI economy.


Our impact

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


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.



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.


The MATRIX Panel

We have a main panel of twelve business and academic leaders, supported by a small secretariat team based in the Department for the Economy. The panel is currently Dr. Rob Hardeman and the Deputy Chair is Norman Apsley. Other panel members include Professor Jim McLaughlin OBE, Cathy Gormley-Heenan, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research and Impact) at Ulster University and Bombardier’s Gavin Campbell.

Find out more about the panel

Our current projects

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 several short reports on topics such as creative technologies, AI and Women in STEM.

Creative Technology

Creative Technology

Matrix is currently undertaking a short study into the interface between technology and creativity, following one of the supporting recommendations from the 2016 Digital ICT report.


Artificial Intelligence

MATRIX is conducting a short scoping study of Northern Ireland’s capability in AI, led by Dr Rob Hardeman, MATRIX Chair, and Tom Gray, Director of the NI Digital Catapult.


Women in STEM

We are currently examining how to tackle the shortage of women in STEM. If we can encourage women into STEM and ensure they remain in the skills pipeline, we could go a long way to solving skills shortages.


The library

This library is a collection of documents that the MATRIX panel and secretariat have used in their research. If you are looking for reports that MATRIX has produced, please visit our Reports section. The most recent additions to the library are here – if you want to see the full collection, arranged by topic, please visit the library section.


The Future of Jobs 2018

Workforce transformations are no longer an aspect of the distant future. As shown in the five-year outlook of this report, these transformations are a feature of today’s workplaces and people’s current livelihoods and are set to continue in the near term.


Materials Landscaping Study

Materials Landscaping Study This report details the scale, geographical distribution and competitiveness of the UK materials sector. It is based on a database of the UK materials companies that was extracted [...]


The Skills System in Northern Ireland

The Skills System in Northern Ireland - Challenges and Opportunities This research sets out the context in which the skills system in Northern Ireland operates, and attempts to outline the challenges [...]

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).

All of the current and forthcoming funding competitions run by Innovate UK are published on the GOV.UK website.

See all live SBRIS

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