We are living in a technological culture in which technologies penetrate every domain of our society. Techno-scientific innovations are often designed to make our lives easier, or to solve some societal issues. However, technologies pose unwanted and unintended impacts. This document describes a methodology for Scientific Foresight which offers the Members of the European Parliament legislative pathways to anticipate possible impacts of techno-scientific innovations.
This study was undertaken in support of the Scientific Foresight Unit's ongoing work to develop a methodology for carrying out foresight studies within the European Parliament. Ten different scientific and technological trends are investigated which reflect the interests of citizens, policy-makers and legislators drawn from across the European Union. A summary of each trend is provided followed by an overview of both the 'expected' and 'unexpected' impacts associated with the trend. A legal analysis is then provided which highlights procedural and legislative issues for policy-makers and legislators to consider when tackling policy-making in the EU in relation to each trend.
Company: Capgemini Consulting Authors: M. van den Berg P. de Graaf (editor) P.O. Kwant T. Slewe
Company: TECNALIA Research and Investigation Authors: Arkaitz Gamino Garcia Concepción Cortes Velasco Eider Iturbe Zamalloa Erkuden Rios Velasco Iñaki Eguía Elejabarrieta Javier Herrera Lotero Jason Mansell (Linguistic Review) José Javier Larrañeta Ibañez Stefan Schuster (Editor)
Bea Mahieu, Erik Arnold and Peter Kolarz
In recent decades, developments in European research policy making have led to an enhancement of the role and function of evaluation to cope with the growing globalisation of research and the need to ensure effective research systems at the national level and in the European Research Area. These developments have led to a need for a more integrated way to understand research performance as well as its efficiency and effects, combined with a growing need for a European view. The desire for better evidence for public management, a growing movement calling for open access to the results of publicly funded research and the vastly increased power of computing and communications coincide to support policy interest in steering and sharing research results and data about them. Current trends in the extended use of research information systems - at institutional, national and European level, set the context and create the opportunity for the development of a European research information infrastructure that could provide the basis for an improved research policy development in Europe.
Stefano Faberi and Loriana Paolucci, reviewed by Andrea Ricci (ISIS) , Daniela Velte and Izaskun Jiménez (Tecnalia)
This study discusses the technological, environmental and economic barriers for producing methanol from carbon dioxide, as well as the possible uses of methanol in car transport in Europe. Costs and benefits are evaluated from a life-cycle perspective in order to compare different feedstocks for methanol production and to account for the potential benefits of CO2-derived methanol in the transition to a more diversified fuel mix in the transport sector. Benefits in terms of reduced dependence on conventional fossil fuels and lower risks to security of supply can be envisioned in the medium and long term. It is nonetheless evident that considerable and sustained research efforts are necessary to turn CO2 into an efficient and competitive prime materials, which would be attractive not only for the transport sector, but also other industries. Europe’s increasingly limited and expensive access to fossil fuels makes it obligatory to consider policy options and smart strategies, combining market, regulatory and planning instruments, to bring down the direct and indirect costs of alternative fuels, so that transport services remain affordable for citizens and companies during the transition to a less petroleum-dependent economy.
STOA mainly carries out projects that assess the impact of introducing or promoting new technologies, and identify the best possible options for action, from a technological point of view. In 2013, STOA continued its activities on the main topics of: - Eco-efficient transport; - Sustainable management of natural resources; - Security of the Internet, including e-Government, cloud computing and social networks; - Health; - Science policy. Some major projects of this legislature have been completed, such as: - Eco-efficient transport futures for Europe; - Potential and Impact of Cloud Computing and Social Network Websites; - The series of studies under the umbrella of ‘Technology options for feeding 10 billion people’, which was closed with the workshop ‘How to feed the world in 2050?’
Maike Puhe (Project Leader), Markus Edelmann and Max Reichenbach (ITAS-KIT)
This report deals with the development of integrated e-ticketing systems for public transport and touristic sites in cities. While technologies are already available and ready to meet multi-function requirements, e-ticketing has not yet been implemented on a wider scale in Europe. The implementation of an integrated e-ticketing system is a complex process that requires the synchronised activity of heterogeneous actors. Public transport operators and authorities, financial service providers, telecommunications operators, and the tourism sector need to work together to combine their products on a single card. Besides technological characteristics, legal and economic aspects play a decisive role. Stakeholders that are involved in the implementation of an integrated ticketing system need to agree on technical specifications as well as on institutional and governance issues.
Timo Leimbach (Project Leader), Dara Hallinan and Daniel Bachlechner (Fraunhofer ISI) , Arnd Weber, Maggie Jaglo and Leonhard Hennen (ITAS) , Rasmus Øjvind Nielsen (DBT) , Michael Nentwich and Stefan Strauß (ITA) , Theo Lynn and Graham Hunt (DCU/IC4)
The opportunities of using powerful computing resources on demand via the web are considered as a possible driver for the growth of the European economy. While the market for Social Network Sites has already experienced a consolidation, the market for Cloud Computing is still in an early stage, but with considerable growth rates. In addition the recent massive surveillances actions and the rise of cyber-crime showed the need for a more secure basis of future computing. As a result it is necessary to support the development of highly secure IT solutions. By modernizing the data protection regime Europe could not only ensure the better protection of citizens, but also serve as a model and partner for emerging markets. In order to encourage this evolution the digital life of citizens and business needs legal certainty to ensure new ideas are taken up. As well as this it is abundantly clear that a crucial precondition for a competitive ICT industry is an inspiring surrounding ecosystem.
H.C. Langelaan, F. Pereira da Silva, U. Thoden van Velzen, J. Broeze, A.M. Matser and M. Vollebregt (Wageningen UR Food & Biobased Research) , K. Schroën (Wageningen University Food Process Engineering)
Innovations in food processing techniques can significantly contribute to meeting the needs of the future 10 billion world inhabitants with respect to quality, quantity and sustainability of their food intake. The present study provides an expert judgment for the potential of new and emerging technologies to enhance sustainability in the food processing sector. It includes the following technologies: sensor technology, sustainable packaging and refrigeration climate control, non-thermal pasteurisation and sterilisation, nano- and micro technology, innovative processes for utilisation of by-products, alternative processes requiring less energy or water, plant-based meat alternatives and information and knowledge transfer. For each technology the direct impact (reduced losses, energy and water use) as well as the indirect impact (food losses, suboptimal utilisation and unnecessary quality decay within the supply chain) are described, as well as their contribution to the areas of improvement of the European food processing industry (new and better food products, resource efficient manufacturing processes, integrated and transparent supply chains and enhanced innovation capacity).