There is a great deal of TA activity going on in Europe already: practices involve a range of methods of cross-disciplinary expert studies, stakeholder involvement, citizen consultation and parliamentary discourse. PACITA aims to use the existing methods and to develop and communicate new ones.
In the future, technology assessment (TA) should contribute to research and technology policy in even more European countries. Through PACITA, 15 European partners analyse the situation and propose paths to establish TA.
PACITA will document the existing practices and describe schemes for using them at the European level. In addition, it will help establish a set of training schemes as well as a Web Portal to European TA expertise
On a national level it aims to create a debate about parliamentary TA in those countries which do not have formally established TA institutions yet. On a European level, it will invite experts, societal actors and politicians to a debate on these practices.
Finally, it will provide three projects as examples on expert-basedmethods, stakeholder involvement and citizen consultation. An effective communications strategy is vital to transport the information to a broad public audience.
An independent evaluator will monitor the progress and results of the Action Plan. PACITA is coordinated by The Danish Board of Technology Foundation, an internationally renowned TA institution. ITA is the Austrian project partner of PACITA. ITA contributes to all work packages and leads both the module “Training TA” and the establishment of the TA Portal.
VOLTA, a new magazine on Science, Technology and Society in Europe, was born out of the initiative of the fifteen technology assessment organisations that work together in the European PACITA project. Articles about TA relevant issues offer policy-makers valuable information for knowledge-based decision-making.