Technology assessment (TA) is a function that is stipulated in the federal law on research (research law). Following the amendment of this law on 5 October 2007, this function is the responsibility of the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences. As a result, the Centre for Technology Assessment TA-SWISS became a Centre for Excellence of the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences on 1 January 2008. TA-SWISS has been carrying out technology assessments since 1992.
Preparing decision-making bases for Parliament and the Federal Council
Technology assessment is used to identify the consequences of new technologies as early as possible. The recommendations resulting from TA projects are used by Parliament and the Federal Council as an aid to decision making – especially when controversial technology topics are discussed. In addition, the project results are communicated to interested politicians, experts from science and administration, as well as the media and interested citizens.
In the past, certain technologies have revolutionised everyday life and the way we live together. These days, new technological developments are bringing fundamental changes to whole areas of working life or lifestyles. That is why political decision-makers rely on assessments which demonstrate the consequences and social impact of technologies.
TA-SWISS ... looks ahead, evaluates thoroughly, listens closely, mediates effectively, links together. TA-SWISS in brief.
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To be able to issue advice on matters relating to new technologies, many countries have set up an institution to carry out technology assessments (TA).
The European TA institutions are all part of the “European Parliamentary Technology Assessment Network EPTA”. TA-SWISS is also a member of this network.