Milestone for TA in Austria

The Austrian Parliament wants to strengthen its cooperation with the ITA and has announced plans to develop a permanent TA advisory system. Karlheinz Toechterle, Minister of Science, calls TA a “valuable guide for dealing with technological change”.

On April 10, ITA experts were invited to attend the session of the Committee for Research, Innovation and Technology in the Austrian Parliament. Director Michael Nentwich was pleased with the committee’s announcement to work together more closely with the ITA in order to profit even more from technology assessment as a decision support tool.

“Technology assessment is not just addressing science, but also society. It can be a guide for policy-makers when dealing with techno-political developments. We look forward to co-developing a TA advisory system to advance this process”, said Nentwich. As a first step, he suggested ITA Dossiers and ongoing “TA discussions" at the parliamentary level.

Smart meters as an example for applied TA

As an example for applied TA, ITA experts Michael Ornetzeder and Walter Peissl talked about future energy systems: The use of „smart“ meters would not only help save energy, but also raise questions about data protection and privacy. TA could help address the concerns of citizens already in the developing stage, and thus lead not only to a faster and smoother implementation of new technologies, but also to more cost-effectiveness.

Toechterle: TA a „valuable guide"

The committee and its chairwoman Roberta Lichtenecker stressed the importance of TA for establishing new legislation. Science minister Toechterle called the ITA a “valuable guide for dealing with technological change”.


Parliament Correspondence: "Parlament soll Beratung in Technikfolgenabschätzung erhalten" (German)

Karlheinz Töchterle: Institut für Technikfolgenabschätzung ist wertvoller Wegweiser im Umgang mit technischem Wandel (German)

ITA-Dossier Energy

Project: Parliaments and Civil Society in Technology Asssessment (PACITA)

By: Denise Riedlinger

The committee stressed the role of TA when establishing new legislation on technopolitical issues.