The new publication series of the ITA for politics and society
In this new series, the ITA summarises the core results of its own research projects as well as of selected projects of other technology assessment institutions. The ITA Dossiers are only two pages long and present the topic in a non-scientific language with a view to options for actions in politics and society.
The ITA Dossiers are published here and on EPUB.OEAW/ITA-Dossiers. ISSN (online): 2306-1960
ITA dossiers in english:
- ITA [Hrsg.], (2016) Neuroenhancement: old dreams, sober reality. ITA dossier no. 24en (November 2016; Author: Helge Torgersen).
Boosting the performance of the brain is an old dream still unfulfilled.
-> Approaches to enhance its capabilities range from drugs to brain stimulation or brain-computer interfaces.
-> Besides therapeutic success with long-known drugs in ill people, almost no effects have been proven.
-> Options for action include establishing a governance framework, adapting medical regulation and following fundamental rights.
Author: Helge Torgersen
- ITA [Hrsg.], (2016) Gene editing – new technology, old risks? ITA dossier no. 21en (May 2016; Authors: Helge Torgersen, Karen Kastenhofer).
-> Thanks to a new technology, genetic alterations of organisms are now simpler, more precise and quicker than before.
-> Taboos such as human germ line intervention are up for discussion again as are the foundations of how genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are regulated.
-> In the future, genetic engineering might become more ubiquitous, which could bear potential for conflict whilst the need to reach political decisions is becoming more urgent.
- ITA [Hrsg.], (2016) Industry 4.0 – Production landscape in upheaval. ITA dossier no. 20en (April 2016; Author: Georg Aichholzer).
-> Industry 4.0 stands for the vision of comprehensive digital production – chain networking – from the supplier to end consumers.
-> Its implementation has a variety of effects on business operations, business sectors and society as a whole.
-> Opportunities for improved competitiveness and the securing of social prosperity require a collaboration between enterprises, the state, interest groups and educational institutions, above all in the fields of qualification and security.
- ITA [Hrsg.], (2016) Energy-efficient office buildings. ITA dossier no. 19en (January 2016; Author: Michael Ornetzeder).
-> Energy-efficient design principles have recently become more popular in office buildings.
-> So far, there is little research on how the various measures for extremely low energy consumption affect the well-being of building users.
-> Preliminary results of an ITA study show that people working in the surveyed office buildings are very satisfied with the indoor climate and other workplace conditions even at ultra-low en- ergy consumption.
- ITA [Hrsg.], (2015) What´s "nano" doing in the waste? ITA dossier no. 18en (December 2015; Authors: Daniela Fuchs, André Gazsó).
-> An increasing number of products contain nanomaterials which end up in the waste sooner or later. To this day, their effects are still unknown.
-> There is hardly any information on substances and quantities of nanomaterials used in mass products.
-> This poses challenges for both Austrian waste management and legislation.
-> Proposed solutions include the introduction of a standardised register for quantities of nanomaterials in products, consumer-friendly labelling and control of work safety in the waste sector.
- ITA [Hrsg.], (2015) Less privacy for more security? ITA dossier no. 17en (November 2015; Authors: Johann Čas, Walter Peissl, Jaro Krieger-Lamina, Stefan Strauß).
-> New surveillance technologies allow ever deeper observation of the lives of each individual.
-> Security measures are increasingly reliant upon surveillance technologies, based on the claim that more security requires infringements of fundamentalrights.
-> Citizens have more nuanced views: although the use of surveillance technologies is not rejected as such, it remains a contested issue. Therefore their utilisation should be limited categorically and strictly regulated and controlled.
-> The protection of personal data needs to be improved and ensured, also the case of security technologies. In addition, security should remain a public sector responsibility and social root causes of insecurity need to be addressed and solved.
Authors: Johann Čas, Walter Peissl, Jaro Krieger-Lamina, Stefan Strauß
- ITA [Hrsg.], (2015) Citizens´ view on sustainable consumption. ITA dossier no. 16en (October 2015; Authors: Leo Capari, Mahshid Sotoudeh).
-> More than 1000 citizens in eleven European countries discussed consumption policy within a standardised setting.
-> Citizens demand environmentally friendly, socially responsible and economically affordable products and services.
-> Their main opinion: policy-makers should take ambitious steps to foster sustainable and environmentally friendly consumption in Europe.
- ITA [Hrsg.], (2015) Europe against Google & Co.? ITA dossier no. 15en (April 2015; Author: Astrid Mager).
-> Global IT companies collect data to provide personalised advertising.
-> These business practices are contradicting European values and legislations.
-> The European data protection reform aims at forcing companies such as Google to respect European fundamental rights.
-> The implementation of this vision in form of political practices is characterised by friction and conflict.
-> In addition to the regulation of global search engines, Europe should focus on law enforcement and privacy-friendly technologies.
Author: Astrid Mager
- ITA [Hrsg.], (2015) Reducing food waste. ITA dossier no. 14en (March 2015; Authors: Niklas Gudowsky, Helge Torgersen).
-> Roughly one third of all food produced for human consumption is wasted within the Austrian food chain. Households could save up to € 300 per year.
-> Reducing food waste releases finite resources, diminishes environmental risks and avoids financial losses.
-> Avoidable causes include overproduction, improper packaging and storage, or misleading expiry date labelling.
-> What can be done? Promising options for action include reviewing food safety regulations, facilitating direct marketing channels and simplified expiry date labelling.
- ITA [Hrsg.], (2014) How technology can support the ageing society. ITA dossier no. 12en (October 2014; Authors: Niklas Gudowsky, Ulrike Bechtold)..
-> The world’s population is ageing rapidly: in 2050, there will be three times as many people over the age of eighty than today.
-> Consequently, the demand for care and social services will rise. Meanwhile, disposable resourceswill decrease: social and healthcare budgets are shrinking as is the number of skilled personnel.
-> Great hope is projected on technology to support solutions for these challenges. But how do we need to shape technology in order to really support the elderly and meet their needs?