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A framework for foresight intelligence - Part 2: Online stakeholder engagement

25-11-2021

The second part of the STOA study, 'A framework for technology foresight intelligence', this report deals with horizon stakeholder engagement for the strategic and practical purposes of the STOA Panel's activities. It analyses online engagement methods and tools and their suitability for brainstorming meetings, and for technology assessment and foresight projects. To gain insight and experience in the use of online methods and tools for engagement, these were implemented in one ongoing STOA project ...

The second part of the STOA study, 'A framework for technology foresight intelligence', this report deals with horizon stakeholder engagement for the strategic and practical purposes of the STOA Panel's activities. It analyses online engagement methods and tools and their suitability for brainstorming meetings, and for technology assessment and foresight projects. To gain insight and experience in the use of online methods and tools for engagement, these were implemented in one ongoing STOA project. For this purpose, STOA selected a typical foresight study, investigating a complex issue that is the subject of controversy: gene-editing techniques for the future of farming in Europe. Experts from the Danish Board of Technology Foundation guided the STOA team in setting up and running the procedure for this project. This paper assesses the efficiency of online alternatives for foresight brainstorming meetings with colleagues, MEPs, experts and selected stakeholders. These alternatives include traditional surveys (to ascertain societal concerns about possible future technological developments) and simple variants of Delphi-type surveys.

A framework for foresight intelligence - Part 1: Horizon scanning tailored to STOA's needs

25-11-2021

The first part of the STOA study 'A framework for technology foresight intelligence', this report includes a set of five horizon-scanning reports or 'radars', built with the resources of Futures Platform and covering several areas, including the world after Covid-19, disruptive futures, the Green Deal, food, and geoengineering. Horizon scanning is a discipline that could be harnessed to inform the future activities of the Panel for the Future of Science and Technology (STOA) at both strategic and ...

The first part of the STOA study 'A framework for technology foresight intelligence', this report includes a set of five horizon-scanning reports or 'radars', built with the resources of Futures Platform and covering several areas, including the world after Covid-19, disruptive futures, the Green Deal, food, and geoengineering. Horizon scanning is a discipline that could be harnessed to inform the future activities of the Panel for the Future of Science and Technology (STOA) at both strategic and practical levels. However, as STOA does not have the working structure, human resources or expertise necessary for continuous scanning, for the horizon scans in this study it used Futures Platform. Futures Platform is a professional trends knowledge platform that collects and analyses information on phenomena such as technology, trends and signals, using AI-based tools and a team of foresight experts to anticipate future developments. These trends and signals were used to build a set of trend radars with a view to testing the feasibility of adding horizon scanning activities to STOA's methodological toolbox.

What if new drug delivery methods revolutionised medicine?

13-10-2021

Nanoparticles lie at the heart of a new method for delivering medicines inside the body – and they were crucial to the success of the Covid-19 mRNA vaccines. This new drug delivery method and others could transform the way we treat disease, potentially boosting the treatment of Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and HIV, among others. Insulin and Covid-19 vaccines might even become available as pills. Can the European Union stay on top of this trend? And what challenges lie ahead?

Nanoparticles lie at the heart of a new method for delivering medicines inside the body – and they were crucial to the success of the Covid-19 mRNA vaccines. This new drug delivery method and others could transform the way we treat disease, potentially boosting the treatment of Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and HIV, among others. Insulin and Covid-19 vaccines might even become available as pills. Can the European Union stay on top of this trend? And what challenges lie ahead?

The relation between different zoonotic pandemics and the livestock sector

30-09-2021

This study examines the zoonotic disease risks posed by the livestock sector (including fur production), reviews the risks posed by different livestock species and production systems, and examines case studies of past zoonotic disease epidemics. Building on this evidence, it reviews EU zoonosis surveillance and control arrangements. It recommends improvements including integration of human and animal disease surveillance services, expanded use of syndromic surveillance and changes to the funding ...

This study examines the zoonotic disease risks posed by the livestock sector (including fur production), reviews the risks posed by different livestock species and production systems, and examines case studies of past zoonotic disease epidemics. Building on this evidence, it reviews EU zoonosis surveillance and control arrangements. It recommends improvements including integration of human and animal disease surveillance services, expanded use of syndromic surveillance and changes to the funding of Member States’ zoonotic disease programmes under Regulation (EU) 652/2014.

Autor extern

Jeremy Brice, Rossella Soldi, Pablo Alarcon-Lopez, Javier Guitian, Julian Drewe, Daniela Baeza Breinbauer, Francisca Torres-Cortés, Katie Wheeler

What if deepfakes made us doubt everything we see and hear?

07-09-2021

Deepfakes are hyper-realistic media products created through artificial intelligence (AI) techniques that manipulate how people look and the things that they appear to say or do. They hit the headlines in 2018 with a deepfake video of Barack Obama, which was designed to raise awareness of their challenges. The accessibility and outputs of deepfake generation tools are improving rapidly, and their use is increasing exponentially. A wide range of malicious uses have been identified, including fraud ...

Deepfakes are hyper-realistic media products created through artificial intelligence (AI) techniques that manipulate how people look and the things that they appear to say or do. They hit the headlines in 2018 with a deepfake video of Barack Obama, which was designed to raise awareness of their challenges. The accessibility and outputs of deepfake generation tools are improving rapidly, and their use is increasing exponentially. A wide range of malicious uses have been identified, including fraud, extortion and political disinformation. The impacts of such misuse can be financial, psychological and reputational. However, the most widespread use so far has been the production of non-consensual pornographic videos, with negative impacts that overwhelmingly affect women. Deepfakes may also contribute to worrying trends in our media, as well as in our social and democratic systems. While the technology itself is legal, some malicious uses are not, and a combination of legal and technical measures may be mobilised to limit their production and dissemination.

European Union data challenge

28-07-2021

The exponential growth and importance of data generated in industrial settings have attracted the attention of policymakers aiming to create a suitable legal framework for its use. While the term ‘industrial data’ has no clear definition, such data possess certain distinctive characteristics: they are a subset of big data collected in a structured manner and within industrial settings; they are frequently proprietary and contain various types of sensitive data. The GDPR rules remain of great relevance ...

The exponential growth and importance of data generated in industrial settings have attracted the attention of policymakers aiming to create a suitable legal framework for its use. While the term ‘industrial data’ has no clear definition, such data possess certain distinctive characteristics: they are a subset of big data collected in a structured manner and within industrial settings; they are frequently proprietary and contain various types of sensitive data. The GDPR rules remain of great relevance for such data, as personal data is difficult to be filtered out from mixed datasets and anonymisation techniques are not always effective. The current and planned rules relevant for B2B sharing of industrial data exhibit many shortcomings. They lack clarity on key issues (e.g. mixed datasets), increase the administrative burden for companies, yet not always provide the data protection that businesses need. They do not provide an additional value proposition for B2B data sharing and hinder it in some cases. While this situation warrants policy intervention, both the instrument and its content should be carefully considered. Instead of a legal instrument, soft law could clarify the existing rules; model terms and conditions could be developed and promoted and data standardisation and interoperability efforts supported.

Autor extern

Olga BATURA and Roel PEETERS

Guidelines for foresight-based policy analysis

26-07-2021

Policy analysis examines and assesses problems to determine possible courses for policy action (policy options). In highly complex or controversial contexts, evidence-based policy options might not be socially acceptable. Here, policy analysis can benefit from a foresight-based approach, which helps investigate the issue holistically and assess considered evidence-based policy options against societal concerns. This is especially important in a parliamentary setting, as it enables analysts to consider ...

Policy analysis examines and assesses problems to determine possible courses for policy action (policy options). In highly complex or controversial contexts, evidence-based policy options might not be socially acceptable. Here, policy analysis can benefit from a foresight-based approach, which helps investigate the issue holistically and assess considered evidence-based policy options against societal concerns. This is especially important in a parliamentary setting, as it enables analysts to consider stakeholder views and geographical concerns/differences when assessing policy options. This manual establishes the methodology for the foresight process and foresight-informed policy analysis. It offers a conceptual clarification of foresight and foresight-based technology assessment, helps enhance the transparency of foresight processes and the quality of policy analyses, offers four general guidelines for conducting trustworthy policy analysis, and, finally, provides a practical framework with six basic components for foresight-based policy analysis.

Artificial Intelligence in smart cities and urban mobility

23-07-2021

Artificial Intelligence (AI) enabling smart urban solutions brings multiple benefits, including more efficient energy, water and waste management, reduced pollution, noise and traffic congestions. Local authorities face relevant challenges undermining the digital transformation from the technological, social and regulatory standpoint, namely (i) technology and data availability and reliability, the dependency on third private parties and the lack of skills; (ii) ethical challenges for the unbiased ...

Artificial Intelligence (AI) enabling smart urban solutions brings multiple benefits, including more efficient energy, water and waste management, reduced pollution, noise and traffic congestions. Local authorities face relevant challenges undermining the digital transformation from the technological, social and regulatory standpoint, namely (i) technology and data availability and reliability, the dependency on third private parties and the lack of skills; (ii) ethical challenges for the unbiased use of AI; and (iii) the difficulty of regulating interdependent infrastructures and data, respectively. To overcome the identified challenges, the following actions are recommended: • EU-wide support for infrastructure and governance on digitalisation, including high performance computing, integrated circuits, CPUs and GPU’s, 5G, cloud services, Urban Data Platforms, enhancing efficiency and ensuring at the same time unbiased data collection. • Inclusion of urban AI in EU research programs addressing data exchange, communication networks and policy on mobility and energy, enhancing capacity building initiatives, also through test and experimentation facilities. • Harmonising AI related policies in the EU, taking into account the context specificity: necessary research. • Adoption of innovative procurement procedures, entailing requirements for technical and ethically responsible AI.

Autor extern

Devin DIRAN, Anne Fleur VAN VEENSTRA, Tjerk TIMAN, Paola TESTA and Maria KIROVA

Artificial Intelligence and public services

22-07-2021

AI has become a key enabling technology in public services and its use has increased over the past two years.Ensuring explainabilty of AI systems in public services is crucial but difficult to achieve in case of black-box algorithms. In AI applications in public services, focus is on law enforcement, surveillance and process optimisation. AI for front-end public services seems less of a priority. There is a growing public concern over the development and use of AI in society. With the increase of ...

AI has become a key enabling technology in public services and its use has increased over the past two years.Ensuring explainabilty of AI systems in public services is crucial but difficult to achieve in case of black-box algorithms. In AI applications in public services, focus is on law enforcement, surveillance and process optimisation. AI for front-end public services seems less of a priority. There is a growing public concern over the development and use of AI in society. With the increase of its use, the potential for errors and harms also increases.The public sector should lead the way in creating trustworthy AI. Regulatory sandboxing and pre-procurement are key for creating trustworthy AI for public services.

Autor extern

Tjerk TIMAN, Anne Fleur VAN VEENSTRA and Gabriela BODEA

Health impact of 5G

22-07-2021

Recent decades have experienced an unparalleled development in wireless communication technologies (mobile telephony, Wi-Fi). The imminent introduction of 5G technology across the EU is expected to bring new opportunities for citizens and businesses, through faster internet browsing, streaming and downloading, as well as through better connectivity. However, 5G, along with 3G and 4G, with which it will operate in parallel for several years, may also pose threats to human health. This STOA report ...

Recent decades have experienced an unparalleled development in wireless communication technologies (mobile telephony, Wi-Fi). The imminent introduction of 5G technology across the EU is expected to bring new opportunities for citizens and businesses, through faster internet browsing, streaming and downloading, as well as through better connectivity. However, 5G, along with 3G and 4G, with which it will operate in parallel for several years, may also pose threats to human health. This STOA report aim to take stock of our present understanding of health effects of 5G.

Autor extern

This study has been written by Dr Fiorella Belpoggi, BSC, PhD, International Academy of Toxicologic Pathology Fellow (IATPF), Ramazzini Institute, Bologna (Italy), at the request of the Panel for the Future of Science and Technology (STOA) and managed by the Scientific Foresight Unit, within the Directorate-General for Parliamentary Research Services (EPRS) of the Secretariat of the European Parliament. The scoping review search was performed by Dr Daria Sgargi, PhD, Master in Biostatistics, and Dr Andrea Vornoli, PhD in Cancer Research, Ramazzini Institute, Bologna.

Evenimente viitoare

29-11-2021
The Mutual Defence Clause (Article 42(7) TEU) in the face of new threats
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SEDE
29-11-2021
Competitiveness of EU agriculture
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AGRI
30-11-2021
Eliminating Violence against Women - Inter-parliamentary committee meeting
Alt eveniment -
FEMM

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