Technology Assessment for the Austrian Parliament

The Institute of Technology Assessment of the Austrian Academy of Sciences and the Austrian Institute of Technology will provide scientific advice for the Austrian Parliament. The aim is to deepen the cooperation between politics and science.

Ready, set, go! For the upcoming period of three years the ITA will consult Austrian politicians in collaboration with the Austrian Institute of Technology. Together they will provide an annual monitoring and short studies in technology assessment and foresight. The monitoring will provide overviews of technological trends and potential social impacts on a regular basis. Short studies will be commissioned separately. The overall budget amounts to 200.000 Euros per year.

Milestone for the Austrian Parliament

Michael Nentwich, director of the ITA, welcomes the decision of the jury:

“Technological developments are complex, multifaceted, and spread quickly to various areas of life. Now, our politicians have a chance to stay up-to-date and to discover what comes next”, emphasizes Nentwich.

In the last three decades several European countries have sought advice in TA on a regular basis. They have installed the EPTA network, of which the ITA is a member since 1993.

„This framework contract allows us to enter a new phase ,“ states a pleased Nentwich, “because now Austria catches up with the European front-runners in parliamentary technology assessment.”

Nentwich about the impact:

„Technological developments always impact both positively and negatively upon society. Conversely, we influence and shape technology as well. In order to make conscious and well-informed decisions, we need to reflect well and carefully upon technological changes, both individually in our everyday lives, and together as a society. Because we cannot be doing this all the time, the Parliament, to my mind, provides the perfect place to critically reflect upon our future. From today onwards, the Parliament has an additional ear and eye to be able to do this.”

Solid partnership

The AIT is an experienced partner in foresight. Nentwich is looking forward to the new inspiring cooperation.

„From now on, the AIT and the ITA, will jointly give our best to keep the members of parliament and their staff up to date with the current state of knowledge regarding technological developments, and provide input for their important task of shaping and adjusting.”

Video: press conference (German)

Technikfolgenabschätzung im Österreichischen Parlament from ITA Wien.

By: Thomas Bayer, Michael Nentwich

FLTR: Michael Nentwich (ITA), Petra Scharper-Rinkel (AIT), Doris Bures (President of the National Council), Ruperta Lichtenecker (Head of the research committee), Harald Dossi (Secretary General) Photo: ITA