A panel of business led panel of experts, advising government, industry and academia on the commercial exploitation of R&D and science and technology in Northern Ireland.

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Producing reports and thought pieces on key technology sectors in Northern Ireland for Government and strategic bodies.
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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

  • MATRIX report says encouraging girls into STEM could help solve the skills shortage

    MATRIX has launched its report on Women in STEM at the Titanic, Belfast. The report argues that by 2030, 33% of young people moving into STEM careers in NI should be girls and that government must aim to establish Northern Ireland as an exemplar STEM region. If the potential for [...]

  • MATRIX Creative Technologies report launched

    The Creative Technology report was launched today at the Ulster Museum. MATRIX Creative Technologies report This short report examines the creative technology sector in Northern Ireland. When we undertook our study into the Digital ICT sector in 2016 we quickly identified that the creative technologies were a discrete sector with [...]

  • Creative Technology

    Belfast games company wins support from CreativeXR

    A Belfast games company has won the chance to develop an immersive prototype through a UK wide competition. Boom Clap Play will develop "When Something Happens", described as an epic journey through the history of the cosmos and will have the opportunity to pitch it to CreativeXR partners including the [...]

  • Three NI companies selected for Phase 1 of the Smart School Transport SBRI

    Kinsetsu, Analytics Engines and Deloitte MCS have been selected by the Education Authority (EA) for Phase 1 of their SBRI to develop innovative solutions to allow delivery of safer and more efficient home-to-school transport in Northern Ireland. The Education Authority (EA) is responsible for delivering safe, efficient home to school [...]

  • RDS Primary School Science Fair applications open

    The biggest science fair on the island of Ireland is doubling capacity in Belfast in just its second year, bringing over 1,500 key stage 2 pupils together from all over Ireland to display their creative science investigations in Belfast this June. The RDS Primary Science Fair is calling on primary [...]

  • Primary school children are ‘Aiming for Awesome‘ with RAF education kits

    The Royal Academy of Engineering and the Royal Air Force have teamed up to bring 100 years of RAF engineering marvels to life in classrooms across the UK with an exciting new RAF Centenary ‘Aiming for Awesome’ teaching resource for primary schools. Education teams from both organisations have combined their [...]

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.


AI​ ​Now​ ​2017​ ​Report

AI​ ​Now​ ​2017​ ​Report Artificial intelligence (AI) technologies are in a phase of rapid development, and are being adopted widely. While the concept of artificial intelligence has existed for over sixty [...]

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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