ERA fellow from Slovakia visits ITAS

Strengthening the scientific relations between Germany and Slovakia in the field of TA and policy advice – to this end, ITAS welcomed Tomas Michalek from the Slovak Academy of Sciences for four weeks in Karlsruhe and Berlin.
ERA fellow Tomas Michalek with head of institute Armin Grunwald …
… and with colleagues from the Office of Technology Assessment at the German Bundestag (TAB) (Pictures: ITAS)

The European Research Area (ERA) Fellowships program aims to strengthen cooperation between German research organizations and partner institutions from the new EU member states, the so-called EU13 countries. After successfully applying for one of the fellowships funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), ITAS invited Tomas Michalek, research manager at the Slovak Academy of Sciences (SAS), for a one month stay at the institute.

At SAS in Bratislava, Michalek is project manager of an EU-funded Horizon 2020 project named CIMULACT (Citizens and Multi-Actor Consultation on Horizon 2020), which aims at engaging citizens in innovation and research agenda setting processes. He is also a member of a scientific platform at SAS aimed at establishing a policy advice institution in Slovakia. The plan is to create a unit at the Slovak Academy of Sciences that will also deal with technology assessment topics. To gain experience in this area, Tomas Michalek met with several ITAS researchers during his stay in Karlsruhe from September 12 to October 7. He was especially interested in the EU policy advice project on assistive technologies for the inclusion of people with disabilities and in the BMBF project on participation and innovation (PartInno).

Visit at TAB in Berlin

Against the backdrop of a forthcoming panel discussion in the Slovak parliament at the end of October 2016, organized by the Slovak Academy of Sciences, Michalek also met with TAB colleagues in Berlin to learn more about the particularities of parliamentary TA. On October 11, during a meeting with members of the German Parliament, he also had an opportunity to discuss the topic with Patricia Lips, chair of the Committee for Education, Research and Technology Assessment.

ITAS also benefited from the fellowship: "Tomas Michalek gave us profound insights into the Slovakian efforts to establish and institutionalize parliamentary policy advice in the field of technology assessment. Furthermore, his visit has laid the foundations for future cooperation, for example as partners in EU projects," concluded Constanze Scherz, who as deputy head of the institute was in charge of applying for the fellowship. (18.10.2016)

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