Time and again, technologies have revolutionised everyday life and the way we live together. Today also, certain technological developments are bringing fundamental changes to whole areas of our working life or lifestyles. Technology assessment is used to identify and analyze the consequences of new technologies as early as possible and to propose a viable course of action.
Preparing decision-making bases for Parliament and the Federal Council
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.
It's written in the law
Technology assessment (TA) is a function that is stipulated in the federal law on furtherance of research and innovation and performed by TA-SWISS since 1992 (RIPA, art.11). In 2008 the Centre for Technology Assessment TA-SWISS became a Centre for Excellence of the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences. A service level agreement (in German) between the Swiss Confederation, represented by the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation SERI and the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences, based on the multi-year programme, regulates the cooperation. From a juridical point of view TA-SWISS is a non-profit foundation since October 1, 2016. Funded by public money only and not influenced by any interest groups, TA-SWISS sees it self as an independent observer of the possible – positive and negative – changes brought on by technological change. The foundation is autnonmous in its choice of subject-matters. Responsibility for content and strategy lies with the Steering Committe, whereas the Foundation board is accountable for administrative issues.
To know more
- Flyer: TA-SWISS ... looks ahead, evaluates thoroughly, listens closely, mediates effectively, links together.
- Annual reports
- Seen from outside: External evaluation, final report (in German). Eric Zellweger, evaluanda and Dr. Lukas Scheiber, Kocher & Scheiber. Geneva and Lucerne, September 2014
- Party time: Celebrating 20 years of TA-SWISS