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

  • 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 [...]

  • Ulster Society of Student Engineers looks back on a stellar year

    The Ulster Society of Student Engineers (USSE) was recently named the winner of the 'Best New Society Award' at the 2018 National Societies Awards ceremony, held in Cardiff. Looking at their groaning trophy cabinet it's clear to see they have been busy! Dr Patrick Porter shows off the awards from [...]

  • Tech Nation 2018 shows Belfast continues to thrive as a digital hub

    Research from Tech Nation 2018 shows that the number of digital businesses born in the region has accelerated by 143% between 2011 and 2016. A total of 97 digital tech businesses were born in the city in 2016. Belfast now has the highest density of fibre in Europe and [...]

  • Year of Engineering Holiday Makers Challenge launched

    This summer, the Year of Engineering campaign is encouraging children across the country to get making, inventing and having fun over the holidays. The Holiday Makers is a brand new hub packed with fun activities and challenges that will help to entertain and inspire your children, keeping their minds sharp [...]

  • Industrial Strategy Grand Challenges – have your say

    An online dialogue is taking place between government, industry, academia and the public, examining the Grand Challenges set out in the UK's Industrial Strategy. These challenges focus on four global trends that will shape the future: artificial intelligence and data ageing society clean growth future of mobility Northern Ireland businesses, [...]


YoE Holiday Makers Challenge

July 16 - August 31

Energy Summer School

August 22 @ 10:00 am - 3:00 pm

1st ARCH-UK Annual Science Event

September 4 - September 5

See all events

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.


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 [...]


Move fast and fix things

Move fast and fix things - How to be a public entrepreneur  At its best the public sector is a force for good, taking proactive action to solve public problems. This report [...]

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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