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Training for project managers in technology assessment practices

In the framework of the Community's VALUE programme, an introductory technology assessment (TA) training workshop for EC project managers was held in Brussels on 11 July 1994.

The aim of the workshop was to allow EC officials to understand how the incorporation of TA in their...
In the framework of the Community's VALUE programme, an introductory technology assessment (TA) training workshop for EC project managers was held in Brussels on 11 July 1994.

The aim of the workshop was to allow EC officials to understand how the incorporation of TA in their project management could ensure the best possible social, economic and environmental consequences.

Conceptual issues, institutional influences and the constraints of TA practices were discussed with reference to the integration of TA with research management.

A TA communication exercise consisted of a structured interaction between the participants to stimulate possible approaches to assessing topics of science-society interaction and biotechnology.

It was decided that the workshop needed to place greater emphasis on:

- Adapting the workshop materials to the specific workshop audience;
- Considering the audience type according to their thematic specialization (biotechnology, nuclear energy, etc.);
- Adapting the methodology according to goals related to the actors societal roles (awareness in project management/understanding of implications at the level of the user).

The project officer, Mr Laopodis, identified the possibility for starter-course training packages by adapting the current methodology to include detailed information on energy TA, transport TA, etc.

For the follow-up to this project, it will be necessary to profile the needs of typical groups and categorize the types of trainees. It was recommended that the current structure and methodology include more detailed case-studies and thematic discussions, with the potential support of the national monitors of the awareness workshops.

The Interfaces Management Unit (IMU) will coordinate two expert TA workshops in November 1994. The detailed structures for establishing European technology assessment infrastructure support training and awareness workshops will be recommended. The IMU will also be promoting TA activities in cooperation with the organizers of the European Congress for Technology Assessment conference, due to take place in spring 1995, and the second International Association for Technology Assessment and Forecasting Institutions conference in 1996.

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