Selected projects & initiatives

Matrix consulting references

Getting young people excited about STEM - zdi.NRW - Future through innovation

Die Initiative

zdi.NRW is an initiative that inspires young people along the education chain for MINT and provides information about the exciting opportunities in engineering and scientific professions and courses. It discovers and promotes scientific talent with a variety of instruments. With over 5.000 partnerships with actors from science, schools, business, politics and social groups, zdi is the largest MINT network of its kind in Europe. In NRW over 70 zdi student labs and nationwide zdi offers in all districts and urban districts. In over 15 years, zdi has reached over 2 million young people in NRW; with a proportion of girls currently over 45%. Future through Innovation.NRW (zdi) is a joint offensive to promote young scientists and engineers in North Rhine-Westphalia. matrix has been working as the zdi regional office on behalf of the Ministry of Culture and Science of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia for over 15 years. In this role, matrix built up the local networks and school labs and continuously accompanies them in their further development.

The funding program

Young people do STEM

The zdi-BSO-MINT program gives students from general schools in NRW a detailed insight into MINT fields of application as part of in-depth career and study orientation from class 7. In this way, the inclination to start a MINT degree or a MINT training should be encouraged. 

As a certified educational institution, matrix manages the state and federal funds as part of the funding program zdi-BSO-MINT, checks measures for their feasibility, settles approved measures with the contractual partners and advises on the conception of content and documentation.

The Academy

For more than 10 years, matrix has been developing training courses, seminars and workshops for the coordinators of the zdi networks and laboratories. Based closely on the interests of the target group, we develop the course idea, carry out the training and workshops and take over the participant management. In addition to professional qualifications, community building is an important goal of the zdi Academy.

The communication

Social media channels for young people

matrix has set up the social media channels of the initiative - Instagram, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter - which now have a total of over 4.000 followers and is constantly looking after them. Varied campaigns such as the zdi gurus or the zdi heroines repeatedly form the framework for lively storytelling.

matrix has the community as a meeting place and additional communication platform for young people interested in STEM develops and expands them continuously. You can find out more about campaigns and communities here: matrix agency.

Logo zdi

Doubts about studies and dropping out of studies are no longer taboo - Next career

Die Initiative

Dropout Facts

A new perspective on the subject of dropping out made it possible to see the opportunities. By successfully breaking the taboo on the subject, new opportunities emerged to talk about it. As a result, professional help and support services for students, family and friends on issues related to doubts about studying, changing studies and dropping out of studies grew.

matrix was responsible for the management of the initiative and worked together in 13 regional projects with a total of 20 universities throughout NRW. Change processes were also initiated within the universities and supported in cross-university working groups. Advisory capacities have been expanded and restructured, the instruments have been made more professional, and the way in which people who have doubts about their studies and those who have dropped out has been further developed. The regional cooperation between the universities and different labor market actors was the subject of numerous workshops.

The communication

Cross-media campaigning, including social media strategy and management, was the method of choice for this initiative. The focus was on involving the target group. Inclusive campaigning, user-generated content and testimonials ensured attention, emotionality and great credibility. You can find more information about the campaign here.

Trainings & workshops

In order for those involved to be able to address the target group themselves in a sustainable and long-term manner, matrix has carried out training courses for teams from universities on the subject of social media. The main focus was on using social media for advice. The employer workshop taught how companies can successfully approach university dropouts as potential employees. You can find the documentation for this here.

Logo next career

Promote social cohesion - community inclusive

Die Initiative

inclusion in the community

Together with non-statutory welfare organisations, municipal administration, clubs, other organizations and many citizens, the “Community Inclusive” initiative by Aktion Mensch aims to develop municipalities further into places where everyone is welcome and can participate. In order for this to succeed, Kommune InInclusive aims to promote social cohesion and dismantle structures that inhibit inclusion.

process support

matrix has been supporting all five model municipalities since 2017. The process support strengthens initiatives and networks and supports the testing of concepts and measures for the long-term design of inclusive social spaces. Essential aspects are the promotion of participatory processes and the raising of awareness and sensitization for inclusion among local actors. You can find out more about process support here.

Trainings & workshops

In the future, Aktion Mensch would like to promote the financing of process support much more strongly. To ensure that this is possible on a professional basis, Aktion Mensch supports the establishment of a pool of process facilitators. Based on our experience as process facilitators in inclusive communities, we have developed a practical train-the-trainer concept and exclusively provide the team of lecturers.

The training concept as part of the annual training series of Aktion Mensch has been established for years. This takes up central elements of the practice manual and is aimed at actors in the field of inclusion in Germany. Here we train the following topics: 1. Cooperative planning, 2. Concrete participation, 3. Impact orientation, 4. Evaluation.

Logo Action Human

Together at eye level - HelpCamps

The project

Maker Scene and Disability

HelpCamps brought together scientists, aid manufacturers, makers and people with disabilities to jointly develop new solutions for technical aids. matrix was responsible for setting up the network and organizing the integration of the diverse FabLab and maker scene.

The communication

Various events have made a significant contribution to building the network: BarCamp, conference, hackathon and a social media campaign (strategy, website, videos, management).

Innovate co-creatively - Mfakeopaedics

The project of matrix gGmbH

Prototype orthosis

Motivated by the lack of professional digitally manufactured orthopedic aids that are available as open source hardware MakeOpaedics brought to life. The aim is to co-creatively advance the change in the supply system in a network of actors and to make individual aids accessible to a broad group of the population.

Creative Hubs & Labs

The MakeOpaedics project matrix gGmbH brings makers and medical supply stores together in the development process. This results in digitally manufactured open source prototypes that are freely available for further development. In this sense, we create a co-creative network of innovative actors with different competencies and perspectives.

Develop a prototype - an example

MakeOpaedics has developed a prototype of a sensor-based sole system for patients with a Charcot foot. The aim of the sole system is to avoid incorrect pressure by constantly monitoring the pressure on the foot and thus prevent wounds from forming. In the paper "Development of an open-source digitally fabricated diabetic foot monitoring system" we describe this prototype development.

The matrix gGmbH the project started in November 2020 together with the Rhein-Waal University of Applied Sciences. Is supported MakeOpaedics by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) as part of the “Open Photonik Pro” funding measure within the program "Photonics Research Germany".


The project

Logo Emscher-Lippe4

The aim of the Emscher-Lippe hoch 4 project is to make digitization tangible in the learning and demonstration laboratory and usable for innovation, integration, transfer and education.

Real laboratory

The research project Emscher-Lippe hoch 4 relies on the instrument of FabLabs in its efforts to solve the challenges of digitization in the modern working world; because here digitization is not understood as a purely technological change, but as a social process that promotes new forms of innovation, cooperation and togetherness. The stated goal should be to research the processes at various levels in order to derive recommendations for action for the region.
The target group of the project are people with disabilities who are to be supported directly and indirectly. In an integrative overall concept, Emscher-Lippe hoch 4 focuses on four main areas:

  • Impart digital competence
  • Opening up companies for digital innovations
  • Testing of digital fabrication methods
  • Initiating digital innovation processes

matrix worked within the project on the implementation of innovation methodologies that connect SMEs with application-oriented practices and conducted training courses for SMEs on topics such as business model development, digital prototyping and empathy & participatory design.

Logo of the Ministry of Economics of North Rhine-Westphalia