Matrix is the Northern Ireland Science Industry Panel, an expert group drawn from business and academic leaders, which advises the Department for the Economy on the commercial exploitation of science, technology and research and development.
The panel is chaired by Robert Grundy, a life scientist and respected academic with a focus on the commercial development of differentiating innovation across science and technology.
A collaborative endeavour, Matrix was formed in 2007, with the primary aim to champion the role of science and technology and research and development (R&D) as one of the key drivers of economic growth in Northern Ireland and provide invaluable industry engagement for policymakers across a variety of key sectors.
In the 15 years since its inception, Matrix has produced a suite of respected foresight and horizon scanning reports examining growth areas such as creative technologies, advanced manufacturing and materials engineering, artificial intelligence, and life and health sciences.
This research provides the evidence base to Northern Ireland government for future science and technology policies and strategies that will ensure Northern Ireland’s sustainable competitiveness in the UK and in the global economy.
Additionally, Matrix promotes a culture of innovation in the wider science and technology community across Northern Ireland by championing key organisations and events such as the NI Science Festival, Pulsar – The NI Women in STEM Hub and others that shine a light on the region’s growing stature as an innovation powerhouse.
Last year, DfE published its 10X vision for the regional economy to grow in the coming decade; 10X aims to transform the Northern Ireland economy and identified a range of technologies which will shape the future economy. Matrix is also currently a key adviser to NI government on the city and region deals, prioritisation of public R&D funding, and more generally how funding ought to be disbursed to best effect on high tech and science based commercial opportunities.
Matrix, as a trusted partner across government, is and will remain key to ensuring that Northern Ireland capitalises on the UK Government’s levelling-up agenda. The expertise of the Matrix Panel, not only in science and technology, but also across business and commercialisation will shape the conversation around what we need to achieve these goals and provide a better economy that serves all our citizens.
However, Matrix does not operate in a vacuum and advice from external stakeholders is regularly sought to provide insight beyond the expertise of the panel members. Truly transformative change can only take place in a collaborative way and Matrix aims to ensure that the best advice is sought to build on the evidence for strategic policy decisions needed to meet and exceed the goals of the 10X vision.
If you’d like to pose a challenge to the panel for consideration, learn more about the work Matrix does and how its reports shape government policy, you can visit the Matrix website at: