Project «Parliaments and Civil Society in Technology Assessment PACITA»

IntroductionProcedure | Results / Downloads | Events | Contacts | Links


What does PACITA stand for?
PACITA is the abbreviation of «Parliaments and Civil Society in Technology Assessment». This project is funded by the European Commission. It is a grouping of different European institutions which are actively involved in TA, and organisations which are working to create a TA structure in their countries.

 Why is TA-SWISS participating in the PACITA project?
TA-SWISS has many years’ experience in the assessment of new technologies for parliament. Its partners in the PACITA project are therefore able to benefit from its expertise in the field of project management and communication with the political world. The idea is also for TA-SWISS to draw inspiration from what the other TA organisations are doing. Finally, PACITA also provides TA-SWISS with a unique opportunity to participate in reflections on the potentials and difficulties for collaborative projects involving TA organisations from different countries. PACITA is in fact planning to launch three specific projects which will be taking place in various European countries: one on ageing society, another on sustainable consumption and the last on genomics in public health.

 Aims of the project
The main aims of the European PACITA project are:

  • To promote and improve technology assessment throughout Europe.
  • To promote public engagement on political issues relating to new technologies.
  • To improve communication between scientists, interest groups and politicians.
  • To maintain an ethical vision in scientific research.



PACITA is a complex project presenting fifteen or so partners. The project is divided into eight «Work Packages», each comprising a number of «Tasks». TA-SWISS is responsible for three «Tasks».

  1. TA-SWISS is responsible for organising four seminars aimed at persons who practise or will be practising TA. This series of seminars is conceived on the basis of the chronology of a TA project. The first will therefore be dedicated to the methods and criteria used in identifying a topic. The second will provide an opportunity to reflect on the different methods used. At the third session an analysis will be done on the typical actors in a TA project. Finally, the last seminar will focus on forms of communication. Each of these seminars will bring together representatives of TA institutions and colleagues from bureaux which wish to develop technology assessment in their country or region.
  2. The second «Task» for which TA-SWISS is responsible consists of organising two meetings with parliamentary committees. These meetings must bring together members of the national parliaments of different European countries and elected European representatives. The first meeting will be devoted to a discussion of the challenges inherent in the creation of new TA bodies, but also of the possibilities offered by such institutions. The second session will be an opportunity to debate the principal results of the PACITA project.
  3. PACITA is not simply a project for reflecting on TA. It must also provide answers to the political issues which concern most European countries. Within this framework, TA-SWISS is responsible for formulating an overall view of the technologies that are currently available in health care and telemedicine. To do this, the specialist literature will be analysed and interviews will be held with experts. With this as a basis, scenarios will be developed presenting the introduction and utilisation of these technologies within an ageing society.

Start of the project: April 2011 | End of the project: February 2015


Results and downloads

The current issue of VolTA, new European TA magazine. Free subscription here.

Parliamentary debate: Jointly organized by TA-SWISS and the Danish Board of Technology, the first of the two European-wide meetings of parliamentary committees involved in TA related issues was held on June 18,  2012 in the Parliament of Copenhagen and addressed the challenges of policy-making in respect to science and technology issues. Taking part on behalf of the Swiss Parliament, Daniel Jositsch, Member of the Swiss Parliament, Vice-chairman of the Committee for Science, Education and Culture explains the role of TA in Switzerland (Interview), and Félix Gutzwiler, President of Committee for Science, Education and Culture, Member of Council of states.

Report of the 2nd Parliamentary TA Debate (Parliamentary TA on Stengthening TA for Policy-Making) 7 - 8 April 2014, in Lisbon, Portugal, jointly organized by TA-SWISS and the Technology Institute of Biology and Chemistry (ITQB) of the Universidade Nova de Lisboa. Taking part on behalf of the Swiss Parliament: Mr. Felix Gutzwiller, Member of the Council of States, and Mr. Felix Muri, Member of the National Council.

Report «Von Technologien unterstützt - Altern in der Zukunft. Chancen und Risiken beim Einsatz von assistierenden Technologien in der Alterspflege und -betreuung sowie Empfehlungen an die Politik. Resultate eines Stakeholderworkshops, durchgeführt von TA-SWISS am 30. April 2014.» This report is also available in French: Rapport Vieillir à l’avenir – assisté par des technologies

Book «Policy-oriented technology assessment across Europe»Expanding Capacities, edited by Lars Klüver, Rasmus Øjvind Nielsen and Marie Louise Jørgensen. Download (only available in English)

Proceedings from the PACITA 2015 conference in Berlin: The horizon of technology assessment. Download (only available in English)

Other publications can be downloaded from the PACITA project website.

02/2013 in German and French 

02/2014 in German and French



07.09.2011, PACITA OPEN HOUSE , Brüssel

25.-28.06.2012, 1st Summer School , Château de Colonster  University of Liège, Belgium
Renewable Energy Systems : role and use of Parliamentary Technology Assessment  Flyer

18 June 2012: First Parliamentary Debate on "Knowledge-based policy-making" at the Danish Parliament in Copenhagen.

19-21 September 2012: First Practitioners meeting "Selecting the theme", Lisbon.

13 - 15 March 2013: First TA Conference "Technology Assessment and Policy Areas of Great Transitions", Prague (Czech Republic). The conference will cover sectors such as health care and medicine, energy supply, climate change, and the use of computer technology in all areas of society.



Project coordination

Danish Board of Technology, Copenhagen, Denmark

Persons  of TA-SWISS involved in the project

  • Dr Sergio Bellucci , TA-SWISS. E-Mail
  • Dr Danielle Bütschi, external collaborator at TA-SWISS. E-mail
  • Dr. Christina Tobler, TA-SWISS. E-mail

Some of the institutions participating in the project

  • Teknologiraadet - Danish Board of Technology (Denmark)
  • Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (Germany)
  • Rathenau Instituut (the Netherlands)
  • Teknologiraadet – Norwegian Board of Technology (Norway)
  • Institut für Technikfolgen-Abschätzung  (Austria)
  • Applied Research and Communications Fund (Bulgaria)
  • Institute of Technology of Biology and Chemistry (Portugal)
  • Catalan Institution Foundation for Research Support  (Catalonia, Spain)
  • Swiss Centre for Technology Assessment TA-SWISS (Switzerland)
  • Knowledge Economy Forum (Lithuania)
  • Technology Centre ASCR (Czech Republic)
  • Laboratoire Spiral, Université de Liège (Wallonia, Belgium)
  • University College Cork (Ireland)
  • Hungarian Academy of Sciences (Hungary)  



Further links

Project website:
Video:  Introduction to Technology Assessment (TA) and to PACITA EU project.

Studies and reports by TA-SWISS linked with this topic

«INES – Institutionalisation of Ethics in Science Policy»

«TAMI – Technology Assessment - Methods and Impacts»

«EUROPTA – European Participatory Technology Assessment»


Short Title: PACITA
Long Title: Parliaments and Civil Society in Technology Assessment PACITA
Short Description: More and more of the questions relating to new technologies overlap national boundaries. It is thus essential for TA institutions to intensify their collaboration and to extend their network. The PACITA project therefore aims to develop the practice of TA in European countries. To do this, the project brings together TA bureaux with many years’ experience and European institutions which wish to become a technology assessment body.
Start: 2011
End: 2015
Partner Institutes: DBT
Scope Countries: Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Austria, Bulgaria, Portugal, Belgium, Spain, Switzerland, Lithuania, Ireland, Hungary
Contact Person: Bellucci, Sergio
Home Page URL:
Focus: International projects
Project Leader:
Other Members:

The project in brief

More and more of the questions relating to new technologies overlap national boundaries. It is thus essential for TA institutions to intensify their collaboration and to extend their network. The PACITA project therefore aims to develop the practice of TA in European countries. To do this, the project brings together TA bureaux with many years’ experience and European institutions which wish to become a technology assessment body.

Project: 04.2011 02.2015

Publications: Reports, working documents, podcasts, newsletter

Project managers:
Dr Sergio Bellucci , Dr Danielle Bütschi, Dr Emiliano Feresin