• Kainos launches its first AI camp

    Kainos launches its first AI camp

    Ever wondered how Spotify always gets it right when it recommends a song for you? Or how Amazon knows what to try to sell you at the checkout? If you’re an undergraduate and want to take part in a free two-week summer camp where you’ll pick up the fundamentals of [...]

  • World-First for FabLab Nerve Centre

    World-First for FabLab Nerve Centre

    Inmates at HMP Maghaberry Prison have successfully completed a four-day pilot project, funded by the Department for Communities, in digital fabrication with FabLab Nerve Centre. This is the first time, anywhere in the world, that a FabLab has been taken into a prison setting. At the end of the week [...]

  • Beltech 2017 Review

    Beltech 2017 Review

    The fourth annual BelTech Conference, curated by Kainos, was held on 6 - 7th April in Titanic Belfast. It featured two days of keynote speakers and panel discussions, aimed at technology professionals, developers, creatives, entrepreneurs and business leaders. Here's a selection of the best speakers I heard and what they had to [...]

  • BBC & NI Screen renew partnership agreement

    BBC & NI Screen renew partnership agreement

    The BBC and Northern Ireland Screen have renewed their successful partnership agreement, which sees them continue to work together to invest in developing an internationally competitive screen industry in Northern Ireland. This second partnership agreement aims to build on the success of the original and will see the BBC commit [...]

  • DANI Awards shortlists published

    DANI Awards shortlists published

    The DANI Awards have been celebrating the expertise, talent and achievements of the digital, tech and creative industries since 2010 and attract hundreds of entries from digital agencies and businesses from across Northern Ireland. This year MATRIX is sponsoring the Technical Blog Award in recognition of the great work being done [...]

  • Review of the 2017 Dublin Tech Summit

    Review of the 2017 Dublin Tech Summit

    The 2017 Dublin Tech Summit was held over 15-16th February at the Dublin Conference Centre, with 8 stages, over 10,000 attendees and featuring over 200 speakers and investors. Key themes this year included Creative Technologies, Internet of Things, Fintech, Medtech and Big Data. On the first morning all the focus in the foyer [...]

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.

More…

Our impact

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

More…

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.

More…

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.

More…

The Northern Ireland Innovation Dashboard

Introducing....

The latest publication of the Northern Ireland Innovation Dashboard

A summary of Northern Ireland’s innovation performance....

....across six key innovation indicators.

The most up to date statistics...

...showing progress against the four goals of the Northern Ireland Innovation Strategy.

The Northern Ireland Executive has set an ambitious target.....

They want us to be in the top four of the 12 UK regions by 2025.

Increasing our R&D Spend....

Doubling our baseline figure of £616m in 2012 to £1.2bn in 2025.

Increasing the number of jobs in the Knowledge Economy....

....from 35,777 to 58,000 by the year 2025.

So how are we doing?

Click to find out....
Go to the Dashboard

The 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 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 Dr. Rob Hardeman. 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

Current work

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.

The 2016 AMME Report

Launched 29th November

Using the Delphi Method

for the first time

in a MATRIX report

Now available

to download

Creative Technology

Creative Technology

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

More…

AMME 2016 Report

Our Advanced Manufacturing, Materials & Engineering (AMME) report was launched on the 29th November and represents our most comprehensive report on AMME in NI to date.

More…

The library

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

More…

Latest news

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

  • Creative Technology

Kainos launches its first AI camp

April 25th, 2017|0 Comments

Ever wondered how Spotify always gets it right when it recommends a song for you? Or how Amazon knows what to try to sell you at the checkout? If you’re an undergraduate and want to [...]

World-First for FabLab Nerve Centre

April 11th, 2017|0 Comments

Inmates at HMP Maghaberry Prison have successfully completed a four-day pilot project, funded by the Department for Communities, in digital fabrication with FabLab Nerve Centre. This is the first time, anywhere in the world, that [...]

Beltech 2017 Review

April 10th, 2017|0 Comments

The fourth annual BelTech Conference, curated by Kainos, was held on 6 - 7th April in Titanic Belfast. It featured two days of keynote speakers and panel discussions, aimed at technology professionals, developers, creatives, entrepreneurs and business [...]

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).

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

See all live SBRIS

Sign up for our newsletter

Want to be kept up to date with the latest Northern Ireland R&D news and events? Sign up for our monthly newsletter, packed full of the latest events and stories.

Upcoming events

May
12
Fri
Manufacturing and Materials £15m competition seminar @ South West College
May 12 @ 9:30 am – 2:30 pm
Manufacturing and Materials £15m competition seminar @ South West College | Northern Ireland | United Kingdom

 

Overview

Innovate UK has announced the third round of £15m Manufacturing and Materials competition. Businesses can apply for funding to support a range of innovation projects that focus on technical and commercial challenges.

Innovate UK is to support innovation projects in manufacturing and/or materials. Support will be awarded to projects that focus on identified technical or commercial challenges. These should lead to increased productivity, competitiveness and growth for UK small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Projects should last between 6 months and 3 years.

A business must lead the project. Projects must involve at least one SME, working alone or in collaboration with other organisations. Projects longer than 12 months must involve working with other partners.

Round 3 opens on 8th May 2017 and the deadline for registration is on 5th July 2017, with application deadline at noon on Wednesday 12th July 2017.

What you will learn

At this event you will hear from Innovate UK about the competition details and how Invest NI can help you apply.

You will also learn about the High Value Manufacturing Catapult centres and how your business can access the expertise and state of the art equipment at the centres.

Programme

Time Activity
09:30 Registration & coffee
10:00 Introduction: Invest NI
10:10 Welcome – Innotech and South West College: Jill Cush
10:30 Outline Manufacturing & Materials call and application process: Innovate UK, Gerry Flynn, Lead Technologist
11:00 KTN consortium building: Robert Quarshie, Brian McCarthy
11:20 Case Study: CDE
11:40 Break / tea & coffee
12:00 Introduction to High Value Manufacturing Catapult: Ian Collier, Head of HVM
12:15 Advanced Forming Research Centre, Strathclyde: Ian Silcox, HVM Catapult
12:35 Manufacturing Technology Centre, Coventry: Michael Ward, HVM Catapult
12:55 NITC Case study joint Catapult projects: Colm Higgins
13:15 KTN Consortium building: Robert Quarshie and Brian McCarthy
13:45 Summary
13:50 Networking lunch
14:30 Close
Jun
13
Tue
Seagate Pitstop – Digital Manufacturing @ Seagate
Jun 13 – Jun 14 all-day
Seagate Pitstop - Digital Manufacturing @ Seagate | Northern Ireland | United Kingdom

Applications are now open for small and medium sized companies, academics and experts interested in developing innovative solutions to assist with digital manufacturing. Applications close 05 May 2017.

The Pit Stop will take place 13th June 18 12:00-19:00 and 14th June 09:00-17:00 at the Seagate Technology (Ireland) Springtown Facility and City Hotel in Derry, Northern Ireland.

Background

The Pit Stop is a highly focused open innovation activity designed to accelerate the growth of new ideas – the Seagate Pit Stop focuses specifically on digital manufacturing. This Pit Stop will be of value to companies working with a range of technologies including Artificial Intelligence; IoT; data visualisation, data infrastructure; and modelling and simulation. You’ll get the chance to explore specific challenges within the Seagate manufacturing process and discuss potential solutions with Seagate and industry experts.

Watch a video here to find out about previous Pit Stops.

Seagate Technology (Ireland) Pit Stop: Digital Manufacturing  

The aim of the Seagate Pit Stop is to identify challenges and opportunities for optimising tooling performance, process efficiency and product quality in the context of Seagate’s HDD ‘read/write’ head manufacturing.

The Seagate atomic scale read/write head manufacturing processes require high value tooling to perform over 1500 unique process steps involving critical dimensions 1/1000th the size of a grain of salt.

Seagate collects a comprehensive amount of manufacturing data, including Terrabytes of tool sensor and process data totalling over 1.5PB stored at the facility and archived for up to 7 years. A major challenge has been trying to understand the performance of their fleet of 500+ tools in terms of comparative performance and impact on downstream product quality.

Examples of tool performance challenges that impact Seagate business metrics include:

  • Yield – Challenges in detecting and controling processes critical to end product quality results in scrap of end products
  • Quality – Inability to measure product quality throughout manufacturing processes results in risk to scrap of end products
  • Cycletime – Impact of tool performance issues on production schedules
  • Capital Utilization – Limited understanding of the causes leading to differences in tool performance prevents a more proactive approach to Predictive Maintenance

What to expect

Pit Stop participants will collaborate with Seagate, experts and other innovators to:

  • Develop a common understanding of Seagate challenges within the context of Digital Manufacturing
  • Identify areas where solutions could positively impact manufacturing tooling performance, process efficiencies or end product quality
  • Explore how solutions could be integrated into Seagate manufacturing operations

Successful proposals submitted after the Pit Stop may lead to direct procurement or collaborative applications with Seagate for development funding via Invest Northern Ireland or Innovate UK.

Who should apply?

Innovators experienced in developing solutions, with expertise in all or some the following areas:

  • Advanced multi-variate anomaly detection
  • Real time asset condition monitoring and predictive maintenance
  • Modelling and simulation of processes and asset behaviour
  • Data visualisation
  • Data infrastructure
  • IoT enabled data generation

If you are working within these areas and think you can contribute to the development of scaleable Digital Manufacturing solutions for Seagate, please apply for the Pit Stop at https://www.digitalcatapultcentre.org.uk/open-calls/seagate-pitstop/

Date, times and location

The closing date to apply for this Pit Stop is midnight on Friday 05 May 2017.

Those interested to take part must complete the short application form below. Places will be allocated to those with the most appropriate skills, expertise, services and products in line with the Open Call. The aim is to respond to all applications within 14 days of the Open Call closing.

The Pit Stop will take place 13th June 18 12:00-19:00 and 14th June 09:00-17:00 at the Seagate Technology (Ireland) Springtown Facility and City Hotel in Derry, Northern Ireland.

About Seagate Technology PLC

Seagate PLC is the global leader in data storage solutions and the Springown, Northern Ireland facility sits at the heart of the US$25B worldwide data storage industry.

This high tech nanotechnology manufacturing facility, one of only 5 such facilities of it’s type in the world, focuses on the manufacturing of read/write heads, a key hardware component of the Hard Disc Drive (HDD).

Provisional Agenda

Tuesday 13th June

1200 – Seagate Facility Tour (Optional)

1500 – Registration Starts

1900 – Close

Wednesday 14th June

0900- Arrivals

0915 – Start

1600 – Sessions Finish

1800 – Networking Close