In February 2007 MATRIX was asked to offer focused advice on the future policies necessary for Northern Ireland to ensure economic growth and wealth creation through greater commercial exploitation of its science and technology capabilities.
With DETI support, the panel embarked on an ambitious programme – working with Northern Ireland’s leading high technology businesses and senior academics as well as consulting with the wider stakeholder community.
An eight volume report was produced with a suite of recommendations at both the macro and microeconomic levels which had the scope to break new ground in enhancing science and technology exploitation policy for Northern Ireland. The panel concluded that the overarching challenge for Northern Ireland was to effect a permanent cultural change so that the responsibility for leading the innovation agenda lies not with government or academia but with business.
They found that in order for Northern Ireland to compete effectively, market-led, cross-sectoral and multidisciplinary innovation must become at least as important over the coming decade as technology based or supply push innovation was in the last.
The report highlights the need to create and maintain a new working environment for business, government and academia where they can combine their resources in a market led approach to innovation. Within these innovation communities the risk and the tension between technology push and market pull can be better managed to achieve greater economic benefit.