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Ensuring reliability and trust in quality of Research Ethics expertise in the context of new/emerging technologies


The first objective should be to identify the main ethics challenges resulting from the most impactful new and emerging technologies, including the specific challenges arising from research activities involving those new technologies in collaboration with non-EU partners and outside the EU.

From this analysis, the action should develop education, awareness actions and trainings for research ethics experts. This should be done by involving the key stakeholders. Structured cooperation with the e-platform Embassy of Good Science[[]] and the European networks ENERI (European Network of Research Ethics Committees and Research Integrity Offices)[[]] and ENRIO (European Network of Research Integrity Offices) is necessary. The cooperation with other relevant networks can be envisaged. In addition, where feasible these activities should be based on the analysis of case studies, including from non-EU countries where relevant research activities take place, to facilitate the development of practice-oriented trainings as well as the identification of good practices. The material produced, as well as all other outputs of the action, must be made available in the platform Embassy of Good Science, a one stop shop for all Commission produced ethics and research integrity reference materials and trainings, which can be readily used by all Members States and beyond. Where relevant, the EU Digital Education Action Plan[[]] should be taken into account.

The action should be based on the results coming from projects funded by the EU[[Detailed information of the mentioned EU funded projects can be found on CORDIS web site ( )]] on the ethics dimension of new technologies and other relevant domains (notably SIENNA, PANELFIT, SHERPA, I-CONSENT, ENERI, and TRUST) as well as benefit from the work of the project SOP4RI, working on standard operating procedures and VIRT2UE working on a train-the-trainer programme. For the ongoing projects, cooperation and synergies should be established, via a dedicated horizontal coordination work package. This work package should also pay particular attention to the cooperation with the projects resulting from call H2020-SwafS-2020-1 TechEthos, HYBRIDA and ROSiE.[[Ibid.]] The involvement of the stakeholders such as ENERI and ENRIO should also be used to launch a debate on the impact of the new ethics challenges on the ethics review process to determine how its role and working practices could evolve to maintain effectiveness.

In addition, this cooperation with the main actors should aim at disseminating widely the material produced. The action should in this context foresee the training of the 250-300 Horizon Europe ethics appraisal scheme experts, paying close attention to gender balance, as well as to gender equality and diversity related ethical aspects, and make use of their feedback to improve the trainings. More largely, the institutions organising ethics reviews (universities, research centres, etc.) should be invited to ensure that the experts they rely on are also trained, as part of their quality process and standard operating procedures.

Finally, the action should aim at valorising the work produced beyond the community of ethics and integrity experts and in particular by promoting its use for the students and young researchers that will constitute the next generation of ethics experts and reviewers. In this perspective, cooperation should be sought with large university/research networks (such as EUA, YERUN, LERU, CESAER, EARMA etc.) in order to enrich the relevant ethics related curriculum with the material produced by the action.

In order to achieve the expected outcomes, cooperation with actors from China, Korea and/or African countries non-associated to Horizon Europe is required.