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): 2306-196
ATTENTION – below you can see the english versions of ITA dossiers only.
Please click HERE for german versions, thank you!
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- ITA [Hrsg.], (2018) Steering mobility through pricing. ITA dossier no. 41en (November 2018; Authors: Tanja Sinozic, Stefanie Peer, Mahshid Sotoudeh, Niklas Gudowsky).
-> Traffic congestion costs the EU over €80 billion annually.
-> All major European cities face the challenge of reducing congestion, pollution and accidents in the years to come.
-> Currently, there is no single consistent mobility pricing scheme in Austria. Various approaches for different transport modes co-exist.
-> Mobility behaviour can be governed sustainably by optimising pricing patterns for all modes of transport and directing them towards common goals.
Authors: Tanja Sinozic, Stefanie Peer, Mahshid Sotoudeh, Niklas Gudowsky
- ITA [Hrsg.], (2018) Nano in coffee capsules. ITA dossier no. 40en (August 2018; Authors: Anna Pavlicek, Gloria Rose, André Gazsó).
-> Certain nanomaterials in food packaging promise longer shelf life and freshness.
-> Such materials, products, and related processes pose potential risks to the environment and health.
-> “Safe by Design” (SbD) addresses safety issues during early stages of development.
-> In future, SbD concepts must offer clear added value for users, and additionally specific research for testing and detection methods must be promoted.
- ITA [Hrsg.], (2018) 3D Printing in Medicine. ITA dossier no. 39en (July 2018; Author: Helge Torgersen).
-> 3D printing is already being used for making artificial limbs, dental implants and other medical items specifically adapted to individual patients.
-> Replacement organs cannot be produced yet and remain an option for the future.
-> Access and intellectual property rights, data handling and protection, and incorporating additive manufacturing into medical practice represent crucial challenges.
- ITA [Hrsg.], (2018) Manipulation in Social Media. ITA dossier no. 38en (July 2018; Authors: David Heckenberg, Niklas Gudowsky).
-> So-called “social bots” can create and send automated messages, thus potentially influencing political and other decisions.
-> Based on the data collected, messages can be tailored to personal preferences and address small groups or individuals.
-> Laws are required to describe when and to what extent social media operators need to restrict activities of social bots.
- ITA [Hrsg.], (2018) Energy storage in electricity grids. ITA dossier no. 37en (May 2018; Author: Michael Ornetzeder).
-> The shift towards greater use of renewable energy necessitates more dedicated storage in electrical power systems to provide short-term flexibility.
-> Electricity storage facilitates the decoupling of electricity supply and demand, and can be used to provide a wide range of ancillary services.
-> The future deployment of dedicated electricity storage in Austria and the EU will be strongly influenced by future policies for electricity market design, system operating rules, technology investments, and involvement of consumers and prosumers.
- ITA [Hrsg.], (2018) Inclusion through assistive technologies? ITA dossier no. 36en (May 2018; Authors: Johann Čas, Jaro Krieger-Lamina, Leo Capari).
-> People with disabilities are facing numerous challenges and barriers in their everyday lives.
-> Several socio-political initiatives have been launched so far in order to actively foster the inclusion of disabled people (in areas such as education, employment and social participation).
-> Technologies can play an important role, but full inclusion may only be achieved if additional measures are also implemented.
- ITA [Hrsg.], (2018) Quantified self. ITA dossier no. 35en (April 2018; Authors: Astrid Mager, Katja Mayer).
-> Mobile devices are increasingly being used to measure and monitor health and body functions. This is fuelled by a trend towards self- optimisation and increased efficiency.
-> Such tracking devices can contribute to greater autonomy and allow more independence outside of traditional institutions.
-> At the same time, they can also lead to continuous surveillance and heteronomy. Consequently, health apps should be used with caution.
-> Government and politicians should ensure appropriate legal frameworks and support fundamental rights-friendly technology.
- ITA [Hrsg.], (2018) A sky full of delivery drones? ITA dossier no. 34en (April 2018; Authors: Michael Nentwich, Delila Horváth).
-> Worldwide, large online retailers, postal operators and numerous start-ups are developing and testing drone-operated parcel deliveries.
-> Despite technology not having been fully developed, feasibility has been demonstrated. However, in most countries, the law does not yet allow autonomous drones; specific air traffic rules would have to be developed.
-> Omnipresent drone flights would have a series of environmental, safety, ethical, and societal implications that stipulate a need for public debate before implementation and regulation.
- ITA [Hrsg.], (2018) How vulnerable are critical infrastructures? ITA dossier no. 33en (March 2018; Authors: Stefan Strauß, Jaro Krieger-Lamina, Walter Peissl).
-> Today, social and economic processes are highly dependent on different technologies and their interaction.
-> Critical infrastructures are therefore the "main artery" of the digitally networked society and their functionality is essential for the provision of services of general interest.
-> System failures due to external risk factors, errors inherent to the system or unknown weak points can seriously impair the stability of societal processes.
-> The creation of effective security measures requires above all a greater awareness of the previously underestimated problem of system dependencies.
- ITA [Hrsg.], (2018) Engagement? Yes, if we are heard! ITA dossier no. 32en (March 2018; Authors: Anja Bauer, Daniela Fuchs, Alexander Bogner).
-> Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) calls for continuous societal engagement.
-> Up until now, citizens and third sector actors are not routinely involved in the governance of research and innovation.
-> Citizens and third sector actors face specific barriers to engagement in research and innovation.
-> Policies and practices in support of societal engagement should address questions of relevance, impact, trust, knowledge and skills, time and financial resources, and legitimacy.