Christien Enzing, Jasper Deuten, Monique Rijnders-Nagle and Jon van Til
Parliamentary Technology Assessment (PTA) in Europe has been initiated and developed first in countries in northern and western parts of Europe and later also in Southern Europe. The main objective of this study is to trace the evolution of PTA from the Office of Technology Assessment in the US to a future pan-European participatory PTA and to deliver images of PTA future. Overall, the main type of effect of PTA on parliaments is raising their knowledge on specific technology or societal problems and their technological solutions. However, the institutional settings of the PTA organisations shape the type of influence these PTA organisations have on parliamentary decision-making. In order to ensure successful pan-European PTA cooperation, several conditions have to be fulfilled. These comprise having a PTA structure in countries all over Europe, an interface between scientists and politicians by creating a mutual language, the inclusion of the public and civil society organisations, the creation of a meeting place where all stakeholders have an easy access and, last but not least, the need for PTA to be mainstreamed within regional, national and European parliaments.
Bernd Beckert (Fraunhofer ISI), Ralf Lindner (Fraunhofer ISI), Kerstin Goos (Fraunhofer ISI), Leonhard Hennen (ITAS), Georg Aichholzer (ITA) and Stefan Strauβ (ITA)
How can the Internet contribute to the development and establishment of a genuinely European public (e-public)? What are good practices for e-participation in Europe and how can public organisations profit from opening up their processes to a wider audience (e-participation)? Is e-voting a realistic means to increase electoral turnout and what are the conditions for the success of e-voting? These are the main questions being dealt with in this report, which is the final report of the STOA-project on e-democracy. The report includes the analysis and insights of a research and consultation project in which three scientific institutes, eleven external experts as participants of two workshops and several Members of the European Parliament were involved. The aim of the project, which went from January 2010 to September 2011, was to analyse current developments in the area of e-democracy and to relate the insights to the European policy context, especially to the needs of the European Parliament. Within the three areas of e-democracy covered in the study, e-voting is the area in which the recommendation to the European Parliament is the most explicit: Based on the analysis, the build-up of a comprehensive system for e-voting in Europe cannot be recommended for the time being. The reasons for this are primarily cost-benefit considerations, technological issues and reasons of political legitimacy. Underlying the analysis was the conviction that elections are at the heart of the democratic process and that existing and working election routines in the countries will not be changed without good reasons. Concerning e-public and e-participation the report argues that a European public sphere includes and requires an active citizenry endowed with political rights as well as with a sense of identity which motivates engagement and political concern. European citizenship cannot be based in common language and traditions but only in a sense of belonging to a political community w
Rinie van Est (Rathenau Institute, editor), Dirk Stemerding (Rathenau Institute, editor), Ira van Keulen (Rathenau Institute), Ingrid Geesink (Rathenau Institute), Mirjam Schuijff (Rathenau Institute), Helge Torgersen (ITA), Markus Schmidt (Biofaction), Karen Kastenhofer (ITA), Bärbel Hüsing (Fraunhofer ISI), Knud Böhle (ITAS), Christopher Coenen (ITAS), Michael Decker (ITAS) and Michael Rader (ITAS)
The report describes four fields of bio-engineering: engineering of living artefacts (chapter 2), engineering of the body (chapter 3), engineering of the brain (chapter 4), and engineering of intelligent artefacts (chapter 5). Each chapter describes the state of the art of these bio-engineering fields, and whether the concepts “biology becoming technology” and “technology becoming biology” are helpful in describing and understanding, from an engineering perspective, what is going on in each R&D terrain. Next, every chapter analyses to what extent the various research strands within each field of bio-engineering are stimulated by the European Commission, i.e., are part and parcel of the European Framework program. Finally, each chapter provides an overview of the social, ethical and legal questions that are raised by the various scientific and technological activities involved. The report’s final chapter discusses to what extent the trends “biology becoming technology” and vice versa capture many of the developments that are going on in the four bio-engineering fields we have mapped. The report also reflects on the social, ethical and legal issues that are raised by the two bioengineering megatrends that constitute a new technology wave.
Alfred Radauer (Technopolis Group)
On October 12, 2010 the Science and Technology Options Assessment Panel (STOA) together with Technopolis Consulting Group supported by Knowledge4Innovation/The Lisbon Forum, and TNO, organised a half-day workshop entitled ‘Copyright in the Single Market, Opportunities for Harmonisation and management of Rights’. This workshop was part of the 2nd European Innovation Summit at the European Parliament which took place on 11-14 October 2010. The workshop addressed in the first part the topic of the opportunities for further harmonising EU Copyright law. Despite a number of copyright related Directives, harmonisation of copyright law remains an area of controversy and a considerable number of issues arise where higher degree of harmonisation and also the level of protection to be granted are heavily debated. The second part focused on issues related to the management of rights, i.e. the means by which copyright and related rights are administered (licensed, assigned and remunerated), and whether current practices with a particular view on transparency and governance of copyright management hinder the development of the Internal Market. Despite difficulties to reach consensus in the discussion, four areas for possible policy action were identified.
Martin Möller, Ulrike Eberle, Andreas Hermann, Katja Moch, Britta Stratmann (Institute for Applied Ecology, Freiburg and Darmstadt, Germany)
The study was commissioned by TA-SWISS and conducted by the Institute of Applied Ecology (Freiburg, D). It was subsequently trans-lated by STOA into English. STOA gratefully acknowledges the chance to make it available for discussion in the European Parliament. All rights of the original publication in German continue to be held by vdf Hochschulverlag AG an der ETH Zürich. All rights of this edition in English are held by the European Parliament. Abstarct The study by the Centre for Technology Assessment TA-SWISS pro-vides an overview of nanomaterials already used in the food sector. Today, nanotechnology is virtually insignificant in terms of environ-mentally sound and health-promoting nutrition, and even in the future it is only likely to play a relatively subordinate role in making nutrition more sustainable. But nanotechnology is already used in food packag-ing, an area that is regarded as having considerable potential for innovation. The study assesses these products in respect of environ-mental issues and sustainability, showing the direction that future developments might take and where there is a need for caution.
Víctor RODRIGUEZ (TNO), Jos LEIJTEN (TNO), Giuseppe SCELLATO (Fondazione Rosselli), Bianca POTI (Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche - CNR) and Ove GRANSTRAND (Chalmers University of Technology)
The European Parliament has been working towards building a discussion platform and a resource for further policy actions in the field of intellectual property rights. The Science and Technology Options Assessment Panel has set the goal of further enlarging the area of investigation in light of recent policy developments at the European level. In particular, the current study covers current policy issues in the governance of the European patent system, such as the backlog issue, the enhancement of patent awareness within the European Parliament, patent enforcement, the regional dimension of intellectual property in Europe, patents and standardisation, the use of existing patents, and patents and competition. These issues were discussed in the conference with stakeholders from European to national patent offices, from private to public sector actors. As a result of the conference, it was stated the need for an IP strategy for Europe.
Alfred RADAUER (Technopolis Consulting Group) and Victor RODRIGUEZ (TNO)
On October 13, 2009 the Science and Technology Options Assessment Panel (STOA) together with Knowledge4Innovation/The Lisbon Forum, supported by Technopolis Consulting Group and TNO, organised a half-day workshop entitled ‘Towards an Intellectual Property Rights Strategy for Innovation in Europe’. This workshop was part of the 1st European Innovation Summit at the European Parliament which took place on 13 October and 14 October 2009. It addressed the topics of the evolution and current issues concerning the European Patent System as well as International Protection and Enforcement of IPR (with special consideration of issues pertaining to IP enforcement in the Digital Environment). Conclusions drawn point to the benefits of a comprehensive European IPR strategy, covering a broad range of IP instruments and topics.
Jens SCHIPPL and Ms Nora WEINBERGER (ITAS, Germany)
In order to combat climate change the EU has set the aim of a 20% reduction of CO2 emissions by 2020. This aim only seems achievable if a reduction in energy consumption supported by energy efficient technologies takes place. In principle, many innovative technologies are strongly linked with Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). Regarding the impact of ICT on climate change two different aspects can be distinguished. On the one hand, ICT is discussed as a technology that enables an increase in energy efficiency, a reduction of energy consumption, as well as a reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in general. On the other hand, ICT are an energy consumer themselves. This STOA project aimed at assessing the net impact of ICT on energy efficiency/GHG emissions on the basis of data available in the literature and in technical documents. The main focus was on energy efficiency and energy consumption, but other sectors were examined as well. Results were validated by external experts. This report illustrates that ICT is a crucial enabling technology for the mitigation of climate change. Various ICT-applications in different sectors enable energy savings, increased energy efficiency and a reduction of GHG emissions. In four selected areas, the relevance of ICT for the reduction of GHG emissions was elaborated in more detail: Electricity distribution grids (smart grids); Smart buildings, smart homes and smart metering; Transport and dematerialisation; Industrial processes and organisational sustainability. For all four selected areas significant technological progress and organisational innovations with strong relation to ICT are expected to further tap energy saving potentials in the next decades. It is shown in the report that the saving potentials related to ICT as enabling technology in these four key-areas is by far larger than the approx. 2% stemming from ICT as an energy consumer. The net effect of ICT on climate change is clearly positive. Suppor
Anders Kofoed-Wiuff and Alexandros Filippidis (Ea Energy Analyses, Copenhagen, Denmark) ; Kenneth Karlsson and Sara Moro (Risoe National Laboratory for Sustainable Energy, Technical University of Denmark, Roskilde, Denmark)
The European energy sector faces critical challenges in the future. In order to shed light on different pathways towards achieving these goals a number of energy scenarios for the EU27 have been developed within this project. The focus of the scenario building procedure is on the overall energy system, showing how the different elements of the European energy systems interact with each other, and how different combinations of technology choices and policies lead to different overall results. The project explores two essentially different developments of the European energy systems through a so-called Small-tech scenario and a Big-tech scenario. Both scenarios aim at achieving two concrete goals for 2030: reducing CO2 emissions by 50 per cent compared to the 1990 level, and reducing oil consumption by 50 per cent compared to the present level. Among the project recommendations are saving energy (as being less expensive than producing energy), stimulate the development of district heating and district cooling grids to facilitate the utilization of waste heat, large-scale integration of variable renewable energy sources, strengthening and coordinating the European electricity infrastructure, three levels of transformation needed in the transport sector (fuel efficiency, introduction of electric vehicles and modal-change, new resources (the sustainable European biomass for energy purposes, municipal waste). A continued effort is also required to researching and developing technologies (wave and solar power, Carbon Capture and Storage and safe nuclear power).
Rolf MEYER (ITAS)
The study investigates the contribution of selected important agricultural production systems and technologies (incl. rainwater harvesting, conservation agriculture, rice intensification system, organic farming, agroforestry systems and transgenic plants) to higher food production and food security with focus on small-scale farmers in developing countries. It then suggests options for action within European development policies and development cooperation.