Institute of Technology Assessment of the Austrian Academy of Sciences
The ITA deals with the impacts of new technologies on society, the environment and the economy. It carries out scientific technology assessment (TA) on a variety of topics. The results of this work support policy-makers, administration and the public with regard to issues of technology policy.
The Institute of Technology Assessment was founded in 1988 and currently has approx. 25 employees with interdisciplinary backgrounds.
ITA is an Institute of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (OEAW). Approximately two thirds of the ITA's work is financed through the budget of the OEAW and one third stems from third-party funds.
The ITA carries out interdisciplinary technology studies with three aims:
- to understand the complex interplay between technology and society from multiple perspectives,
- to concomitantly analyse technology development, and
- to contribute to socially responsible technology policy by advising policy-makers and society.
In particular, the ITA analyses unintended impacts of socio-technical change: many new technologies make life easier, enhance productivity, or reduce environmental impact. However, they may also lead to new dependencies, social conflicts and environmental problems.
Technology assessment investigates these impacts and deals with topical issues in specific subject areas. At the ITA, researchers from the natural and the social sciences as well as engineering work together in interdisciplinary cooperation.
The ITA’s work is practice-oriented. In our analyses we include practical knowledge from experts, stakeholders and users, which were obtained through participatory methods. Our research contributes to scientific knowledge, evidence-based advice to politics and society, and to the advancement of technology assessment methodologies.
Within the RECIPES project the ITA is responsible for the Case-study 5: Nanotechnologies.