Comparative Table of Parliamentary TA Institutions
GERMANY - OFFICE OF TECHNOLOGY ASSESSMENT AT THE GERMAN BUNDESTAG (TAB)
Work Procedures and Methods
After decision by the Committee,
TAB is responsible for scientific and organisational implementation of
the TA studies. The project team begins with intensive research and
consultations with experts on relevant research issues and findings.
These also help in exploring opposing scientific opinions and
controversial positions by various interest groups. For central issues
defined for a study, TAB makes recommendations to the Committee on
expertise to be commissioned from external experts or scientific
institutions. Cooperation with such external experts and their reports
is a central element of project work.
Over the entire term of the project, the team monitors and
analyses the ongoing scientific debates and related public and
political discussions. Particularly when interim findings are at hand,
workshops and expert meetings are organised to bring together
scientific experts and Members of Parliament. Representatives of
societal groups are frequently included. This also aims to promote
communication between science, society and German Bundestag and the
transfer of knowledge and opinions, even before completion of a
project. The results of all activities are summarised by TAB, and the
project is concluded with a final report.
TA PROJECTS AND MONITORING ACTIVITIES
TA projects and
monitoring activities are central working areas for TAB. These areas
have proved ideal, particularly as a means of channelling the numerous
requests for topics received from the expert committees and
parliamentary political parties into analytical processes suitable for
the purposes of German Bundestag.
TA projects deal with complex issues of science and
technology. Such projects apply a comprehensive, interdisciplinary
approach and a long-term perspective (e.g. nanotechnology, synthetic
biology, and modern power grids).
Monitoring activities consider selected aspects of
science, technology and society (e.g. regulation, innovation,
experience made in other countries). Their thematic focus makes them
particularly suitable for current issues. They are also helpful in
identifying and determining the exact content of future and more
comprehensive assessments. Finally, they contribute to strengthening
the core competences of TAB in important areas (e.g. themes such as
sustainable energy supply, acceptance of new technologies, eLearning,
genetic diagnostics and gene therapy).
FUTURE REPORTS, POLICY BENCHMARKING AND INNOVATION REPORTS
These analytical approaches - for which the cooperation partner
Fraunhofer-Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (ISI) holds
lead responsibility - are used to open up specific additional
Future reports are intended to identify technological
with relatively medium and long-term relevance which are expected to
require parliamentary action. Among other things, this enhances the
Committee´s opportunities to put issues on the political agenda at an
Policy benchmarking uses international comparative studies
policy approaches in other countries and political options for action
being debated there, to contribute to the Committee´s ability to assess
solutions in various countries and areas of technology.
Innovation reports are intended to review current
areas characterised by particularly rapid development, a high degree of
sensitivity and a low level of empirical information.