TAB was set up in 1990 with the aim is to supply the German Bundestag with information, providing a scientific basis for the policy-making process.
Since 2013 TAB cooperates with the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), the Institute for Future Studies and Technology Assessment (IZT), and the VDI/VDE Innovation + Technik GmbH.
The tasks and activities of TAB include the design and implementation of TA projects. Additionally, TAB monitors and analyses important trends in science and technology and related societal aspects (monitoring). Parliamentary TA also includes analysis of the innovation (innovation report), the observation of scientific and technical trends in early stages of development (horizon scanning) as well as the experience exchange with actors in society through discourse analysis and systematic dialogue process (stakeholder panel TA).
The objectives of technology assessment, as TAB sees it, are the following:
- to analyse the potentials of new scientific and technological developments and explore the associated opportunities,
- to examine the framework conditions for implementing scientific and technological developments,
- to analyse their potential impacts in a comprehensive forecast, pinpoint the opportunities of a certain technology and indicate the possibilities for avoiding or reducing any associated risks,
- to provide policy makers alternative options in the policy-making process.
The Committee on Education, Research and Technology Assessment is responsible for deciding on TAB's work program mainly based on applications of other committees to conduct TA research on selected topics.
The director of TAB is responsible for the scientific findings of TAB.
As TAB's directing body, the Committee on Education, Research and Technology Assessment is responsible for approving final reports, and communicating with the Members of Parliament and its committees.