The ITA studies the impact of new technologies on the environment, economy and society. The results of this research support policy-makers, administration and the public with regard to issues of technology policy.

The ITA carries out interdisciplinary technology studies with three aims:

  • to understand the complex interplay between technology and society from multiple perspectives,
  • to concomitantly analyse technology development, and
  • to contribute to socially responsible technology policy by advising policy-makers and society.

Technology Assessment thrives on interdisciplinary research (photos © ÖAW)

In particular, the ITA analyses unintended impacts of socio-technical change: many new technologies make life easier, enhance productivity, or reduce environmental impact. However, they may also lead to new dependencies, social conflicts and environmental problems.

Technology assessment investigates these impacts and deals with topical issues in specific subject areas. At the ITA, researchers from the natural and the social sciences as well as engineering work together in interdisciplinary cooperation.

The ITA’s work is practice-oriented. In our analyses we include practical knowledge from experts, stakeholders and users, which were obtained through participatory methods. Our research contributes to scientific knowledge, evidence-based advice to politics and society, and to the advancement of technology assessment methodologies.