TechEthos: New project using ethics to shape technology of the future



Technological developments and breakthroughs often bring shocking and spectacular changes to society. Highly complex, disruptive and transformative, they challenge human values, freedoms and societies. To maximise the benefit for society and minimise potential harms, we need to understand and address the ethical and social implications of new and emerging technologies. Making sure we are not forgetting marginalised and vulnerable populations. As the SIENNA project ends, a new Horizon2020 project begins. Building on our results to bring ethical and societal values into the design and development of new and emerging technologies. Want to know more? We suggest you sign up to the TechEthos newsletter and follow them on Twitter!

(Image removed)

TechEthos builds upon SIENNA’s results in order to address and mitigate the ethical and societal impact of new and emerging technologies. It aims to address the growing ethical challenges and expectations regarding new and emerging technologies by working with different stakeholders – researchers, civil society organisations, research ethics committees, policy makers and the general public – to capture and develop societal awareness on these technologies.

The project will begin by scanning the technology horizon to identify 3-4 emerging technologies with high socio-economic impact that raise challenging ethical issues. Examples include smart materials, virtual reality, autonomous systems, geo-engineering and synthetic technologies.

Based on this scan, TechEthos will conduct three different analyses for each of the selected technologies: ethical analysis; policy-legal analysis; and expert and citizen-focused analysis of societal awareness and acceptance, via interviews and a media scan. These analyses will be used to highlight ethical and legal challenges, gaps, and opportunities for improvement.

Following these analyses, the project will work to enhance existing ethical and legal frameworks and operational guidelines to support the research community in integrating ethics concerns and societal values into research protocols and technology design.

TechEthos embraces the challenge of making ethics operational by ensuring that ethical and societal values can be translated into actionable guidelines to support research and innovation, and lead to behavioural change and awareness in the scientific and technological innovation communities and society more generally, by co-creating and cooperating with them.

To learn more about TechEthos follow the project on Twitter and LinkedIn,  and sign up to the project newsletter. By joining the online community, you will be first in line to discover the four technologies the project selects as the focus of its work and become a contributor yourself in shaping the technologies of the future. 

By Nuala Polo, TechEthos Dissemination & Communications Manager

About TechEthos: TechEthos has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 101006249. The project is coordinated by the Austrian Institute of Technology and will run for three years, ending in December 2023. By involving 10 organisations from across Europe, TechEthos will shape and guide new ethical standards for future technologies at the EU and international level.





Project structure


Disclaimer: This website and its contents reflects only SIENNA's view. The Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.