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VALUE programme support for technology assessment

The 1994 VALUE projects for strengthening technology assessment (TA) activity in Europe have just begun within the framework of the VALUE II programme. The objective of each of the programme's Interfaces between Research, Society and the Scientific Community is to improve diss...
The 1994 VALUE projects for strengthening technology assessment (TA) activity in Europe have just begun within the framework of the VALUE II programme. The objective of each of the programme's Interfaces between Research, Society and the Scientific Community is to improve dissemination and exploitation of RTD results in Europe and strengthen the TA infrastructure to bring greater added-value to RTD results.

With a mandate to enhance the impact of RTD activities in Europe, the VALUE II Interfaces are now preparing to make this TA initiative available to new researchers throughout Europe

Technology assessment aims to assist the transformation of technology into practical products and services which benefit both the economy and society in general. The European Technology Assessment Infrastructure (ETAI) is a network of TA organizations who assess technologies and provide advise to policy-makers, who in turn decide which technologies are best suited to meet the needs of society and commerce.

The VALUE II programme has planned a number of TA initiatives for strengthening the ETAI. It has been decided to launch, before the end of 1995, a European TA database, a European TA newsletter, and a TA network and clearing house for centralising TA expertise. In addition, a Technology Assessment Training scheme is being established and will begin in July of this year.

From 2-6 May 1994, the International Association for Technology Assessment and Forecasting Institutions (IATAFI) is organizing its first international conference in Bergen, Norway. The VALUE II will be participating in the conference as part of its overall strategy to support the European TA Infrastructure. This conference will focus on:
- TA in developing countries;
- TA in the Former Soviet Union and other Eastern European Countries;
- TA and sustainable development;
- TA and telecommunications and information technologies.

It is important to encourage feedback from interested parties involved in TA while the infrastructure is still in the development stage. The Interfaces TA initiative is providing support for groups who want to develop their TA expertise and who also wish to improve relationships between the decision-makers and those who are conducting technology assessment.

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