Did you know…?

The first Matrix report was published in February 2007, when 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 tech businesses and senior academics as well as consulting with the wider stakeholder community.

An eight volume report was produced with a suite of recommendations 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 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 be the main focus.

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Northern Ireland’s key strengths

Northern Ireland has a number of strengths that make it a great place to set up and grow a science & technology based business.

NI’s Knowledge Economy is the second fastest growing in the UK, with new business creation at an all-time high and export sales making up a third of total NI output. There’s also a continuing increase in Venture Capital Investment in NI companies.

53 per cent of the population is under the age of 40 and our two world-class universities and an extensive network of further education colleges provide excellent academic and vocational training.

With two universities producing high quality graduates, a strong digital tech community, low cost of living and desirable property prices, Belfast is an increasingly attractive place to start – and grow – a digital tech company.

What Matrix does

The MATRIX panel commissions research, analysis and studies, to help DfE build the evidence base for future science and R&D policies within wider innovation policy.

The MATRIX panel advises in three main areas:

  • Key R&D and science & technology issues affecting business innovation

  • The emerging strategic technology priorities impacting on Northern Ireland’s economy

  • The promotion of a culture of innovation and the importance of R&D and science & technology in the future, particularly with business and in regard to commercial exploitation activities.

How Matrix does it – our methodology