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Technology meets ethics - TechEthos kicks off online

On January 28th, 2021, the new EU project, TechEthos kicked off online. Ecsite joined the consortium (including six science engagement organisations from across Europe), alongside four representatives from the European Commission to meet and discuss the project’s three-year trajectory and how it will reinforce and extend the European Union’s role as an ethics trailblazer in new, emerging technologies.

As Lisa Diependaele, Policy Officer at the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Research and Innovation and one of TechEthos’ policy officers shared with the project.

“Ethics and integrity in research are prerequisites for achieving excellence in research and innovation. For new, emerging technologies with high socio-economic impact especially, the EU aims to reconcile their development and use with reducing social and economic inequalities as well as eliminating gender inequality.”

TechEthos is setting out to shine a spotlight on ethics within the sphere of technology innovation, in particular, new, emerging technologies. Emerging technologies are technologies that only are now taking shape, ones that will be available within the next five to ten years, and ones that are expected to have a large impact on society. After scanning the horizon for these technologies, TechEthos will investigate the ethical challenges and societal consequences that are likely to come along with them. Such challenges and consequences for society should not be an afterthought in the research and innovation process, as otherwise, we run the risk of creating technologies that negatively affect the lives of certain population groups, much like the problems seen in the late facial recognition technology.

Over the course of three years, TechEthos will be creating strong connections with different stakeholders – researchers, civil society organisations, research ethics committees, policymakers and the public – to capture and develop deep societal awareness on four emerging technologies spanning six countries. In the end, TechEthos will

  • Shine a spotlight on ethics within technological innovation, by working with end-users to co-create a future that aligns with ethical and societies values.

  • Ensure a change in procedure and perspective in the research community by producing actionable operational guidelines to support research and innovation 

  • Lead to behavioural change and awareness in the scientific and technological innovation communities, and society more generally, by co-creating and cooperating with them.

The project is just getting started, and a website will be coming soon. In the meantime, if you want to gain further information TechEthos's first press release (attached below) has just been released, which captures some further insights from the kick-off meeting and the project at large. TechEthos can also be found on Twitter and LinkedIn and has a new newsletter launching soon – subscribe here. By joining our online community, you will be first in line to discover the four emerging technologies the project selects as the focus of its work and will become a contributor yourself in shaping their future.



  • Ethics in tech
  • innovation
  • Future technologies