The new Matrix panel has now been appointed, drawing on expertise from across all science and technology sectors in Northern Ireland.

The new panel is part of a total refresh which aims to bring increased focus to Northern Ireland’s emerging sectors such as Artificial Intelligence, Advanced Manufacturing, Agri-tech and Precision Medicine.

Dr. Rob Grundy was appointed as Chair earlier this year and was involved in the appointment of the panel along with the Department for the Economy, which convened the panel to advise it.

He commented,“Although Matrix is well established, it has to remain relevant to the constituents it serves. Ensuring that we produce intelligence, support and resources that help the government and educational establishments respond effectively to the needs of industry and that industry understands the opportunities and support available is really important.

“Making sure the output of Matrix is fresh and accessible will be a focus moving forward. I’m determined that the visibility of Matrix is increased too. Our new website is now live and features all our reports, as well as information on science & technology events in Northern Ireland and the latest funding competitions which encourage R&D and innovation.”

The new panel members are:

  • Rebecca Walsh, who has a background in Aerospace Engineering with over 10 years’ experience in innovation, human centred design and service design.
  • Mary McKenna, a well networked Northern Irish technology entrepreneur and angel investor.
  • Mark Huddleston, Managing Director of jheSOLUTIONS and King & Fowler UK, who has worked in a range of businesses within the Advanced Manufacturing & Engineering sector.
  • Tom Gray, a 30-year tech veteran who is CTO and Director of Innovation at Kainos Group plc.
  • Michael Shaw, Managing Director of RPS Ireland Ltd, and active within the construction industry in promoting innovative excellence.
  • John Reid, co-founder and investor in a number of cyber and data-driven companies.
  • Brian McMahon, founder of Segment International with over 25 years experience in consumer-informed design research and strategy development.
  • Richard Kennedy, Medical Director and Global VP of Biomarker Development at Almac Diagnostic Services,
  • Patricia O’Hagan, CEO of Core Systems, world leaders in prisoner self-service technology.

Find out more about the panel here:

The appointments, effective from 1 August 2019, are for an initial term of 5 years.

The new panel will convene for the first time this September to develop a new workplan of research and outreach.

Dr. Rob Grundy welcomed the new panellists to Matrix, saying,“Membership of the Matrix panel is a real opportunity to make a difference. The importance of Science and Technology to the economic prosperity of Northern Ireland is huge.

“The new Matrix panel will have a direct impact on the way we steer policy and create an environment for growth in these uncertain times. I’m delighted to see such a diverse panel appointed and look forward to working with them all over the coming months and years.”