The PACITA project presents an innovative web platform providing comprehensive access to resources in technology assessment (TA)
On 22 October 2012, in a meeting of the Council of the European Parliamentary Technology Assessment (EPTA) network, the Technology Assessment Portal was launched officially. The core of the Portal is a searchable database containing the data of TA-related publications and projects as well as basics on TA institutions and experts around Europe.
Explore the TA Portal here: www.technology-assessment.info
Technology Assessment (TA) is an analytic and democratic practice which aims at broadening the knowledge base of policy decisions by the analysis of the socio-economic preconditions as well as the possible social, economic and environmental impacts in the implementation of new technologies.
Many European countries have this practice institutionalised in different ways and some of them collaborate in the PACITA project to further develop concepts and methods and thus improve their role as an intermediate between science, society and policy making. Sharing their successful experiences is beneficial to countries with or without established TA.
The TA Portal is the newest tool to support this task. Today, it gives access to core information about TA institutes, their experts, their publications and their projects. In the final stage, it will give access to all the available – and up to now scattered – resources in the matter, including a TA related events calendar, a virtual library and an open access full text server. Furthermore, it will include a TA forum to connect experts among them, but also with those interested in TA.
The Portal contains information provided by the partners in the PACITA project, but it will not be restricted methodologically nor geographically. On the contrary, following PACITA’s path, it aims to recruit more institutions and become the central gate to the world of TA.
Scientific consultants to European parliaments to discuss the challenges of personalised medicine in the Catalan parliament.
Science and technology advisors to parliaments across Europe will be gathering in the Catalan parliament on 22 and 23 October at the annual meeting of the European Parliamentary Technology Assessment (EPTA) network. This year’s meeting is being organised by the Catalan Parliament’s Science and Technology Advisory Board (CAPCIT) as the network’s current chair. EPTA’s board will meet on Monday 22nd with a resolution for Finland to take over the chair in 2013 as one of the points on its agenda and on Tuesday 23rd the annual conference, whose topic this year is personalised medicine, will take place.
EPTA comprises the science and technology assessment offices and organisations of the European parliament and the parliaments of Denmark, Finland, Flanders, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, as well as Catalonia. The Council of Europe and the offices of the parliaments of Austria, Poland and the United States are associate members, and the network also has contacts with Chile, China and Japan.
The Catalan parliament is the only one in Spain that has a body of this kind – its Advisory Board for Science and Technology (CAPCIT). Moreover, the parliaments of Catalonia and Flanders are the only two EPTA members that are not State parliaments.
The Catalan Parliament has held the presidency of EPTA since 1 January, but once the appropriate resolution has been passed at Monday’s meeting, Finland will take over from it.
Debate on personalised medicine
At 9.30 am on Tuesday, Núria de Gispert, the current president of the Parliament of Catalonia, who is also chair of CAPCIT, will open the conference which has been organised by the Catalan Parliament, in its capacity as chair of EPTA, with the collaboration of the Catalan Ministry of Health and the Directorate-General for Research, on the challenges on the road to personalised medicine. The opening session will also be addressed by the Secretary for Universities and Research, Antoni Castellà, and the head of Research and Innovation at the Ministry of Health, Marta Aymerich.
The needs and challenges of personalised medicine, the limits of prognosis, genetic and sociocultural contributions to the risk of illness, bioethics and social responsibilities, and the sustainability of personalised medicine and its global consequences are some of the issues that will be dealt with in various sessions.
Those who will be taking part in these sessions include Montserrat Vendrell, CEO of the Biophysics Collaborative Access Team (BioCAT) and chair of the Council of European Bioregions; Josep Maria Borràs, scientific director of the Catalan Oncology Institute; Manel Esteller, from the Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute; Jordi Camí, general manager of the Pasqual Maragall Foundation and the Barcelona Biomedical Research Park; Joan Rodés, from the August Pi i Sunyer Biomedical Research Institute; Manolis Kogevinas, from the Centre for Research on Environmental Epidemiology; Ingrid Geesink, from the Rathenau Instituut, and Oriol Solà-Morales, director of the Pere Virgili Healthcare Research Institute.
The Catalan Parliament brings together the chief scientific consultants to the European parliaments for a working meeting in Sitges.
Monday, 14 May 2012. Sitges (El Garraf)
The directors of the European Parliamentary Technology Assessment (EPTA) offices are meeting today and tomorrow in Sitges for a working conference organised by the Catalan Parliament which this year holds the presidency of this network. The conference is being chaired by Dolors Batalla, fourth secretary of the Catalan Parliament’s Presiding Committee.
In her opening address, Batalla said the conference should serve “to learn and develop science and technology assessment tools” to strengthen “cooperation between EPTA members” and prepare the conference this organisation is due to hold in October in Barcelona.
The mayor of Sitges, Miquel Forns, expressed his thanks that the meeting was being held in the town and hoped that it would produce “results useful to the Catalan Parliament and the other parliaments that have science assessment offices”.
During the conference the directors and managers of the parliamentary science and technology offices belonging to EPTA will discuss cooperation between the network’s members, plans for restructuring some of these organisations, their presence in the internet and social networks, and the next presidency of EPTA, as Catalonia’s presidency finishes at the end of this year.
The Catalan Parliament is the only one in Spain that has a body of this kind – the Advisory Board of the Parliament of Catalonia for Science and Technology (CAPCIT). Moreover, the parliaments of Catalonia and Flanders are the only two EPTA members that are not State parliaments.
CAPCIT, which was set up in 2008 and is currently chaired by Núria de Gispert, has a mixed membership. It comprises the secretaries of the Catalan Parliament’s Presiding Committee, Montserrat Tura and Dolors Batalla, a deputy (MP) from each parliamentary group and representatives of the country’s leading scientific institutions, including the state universities, the Institute of Catalan Studies, the Catalan Research Support Institution Foundation and the Catalan Scientific Communication Council.
EPTA is formed by the science and technology assessment offices of the European Parliament and the parliaments of Denmark, Finland, Flanders, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Catalonia. In addition, the Council of Europe and the offices of the parliaments of Austria, Poland and the United States are associate members.
The Catalan Parliament has assumed the presidency of EPTA for 2012.
The Parliament's advisory board for Science and Technology (CAPCIT) recently organised a successful directors' meeting in Sitges and will invite parliamentarians and TA experts to the annual EPTA Conference in Barcelona later this year.