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European Technology Assessment Group (ETAG)

Since October 2005 a group of European scientific institutes - with the Institute of Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS), Research Centre Karlsruhe, Germany as the leading partner - has been providing scientific services for the European Parliament on social, environmental and economic aspects of new technological and scientific developments. Like many other parliaments in Europe (see: http://www.eptanetwork.org) the European Parliament at the end of the 1980s set up an institution for scientific advice regarding complex social, ecological and economic implications of modern technology and scientific research. At the European Parliament the process of consulting was and is organised by the so called STOA-Panel (Science and Technology Options Assessment, a parliamentary body consisting of 15 Members of Parliament representing several parliamentary committees. In view of the growing importance of a European science and technology policy the European Parliament decided in 2005 to support STOA's activities by establishing permanent co-operation with a group of institutions with relevant expertise in the field of Technology Assessment. Starting from March 2014 the European Technology Assessment Group for a third period of 3 years will support STOA by carrying out TA-studies. The focus of ETAG's activities on behalf of the European Parliament will be on studies in the fields of Transport; Nanoscale Science and Technology; Life Sciences for Human Well-being; Agriculture, Food and Biotechnology; Science, Technology and Innovation Policy and Safety and Security Technologies.

ETAG is made up by the following organisations:

  • the Institute of Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis, which operates the Office of Technology Assessment at the German Parliament
  • the Danish Board of Technology, which provides consultancy services for the national parliament
  • the Rathenau Institute, the central TA institution in the Netherlands working for the Dutch parliament
  • the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research, supporting ITAS in carrying out TA studies on behalf of the German Parliament
  • the Institute of Technology Assessment at the Austrian Academy of Sciences
  • the Technology Centre AV CR, an institute active in TA related research run by the Czech Academy of Sciences
  • Responsible Technology, Paris
  • and VITO, the Flemish Institute for Technological Research, Belgium