Section 13: Heritage of the Framework

This section presents a strategy to ensure the sustainability of the work carried out in the SATORI project and to give future actors the means to efficiently implement the recommendations. The SATORI heritage strategy serves as a bridge between the work performed by the SATORI consortium within the project period and the long-term roadmap towards a common European approach to ethics assessment. The heritage strategy contains three elements, each of which can be implemented on their own, but which would naturally benefit from the synergy of being implemented at once. The SATORI project has made it clear to its participants that ethics in research and innovation would be best served by an extensive approach that seeks to inspire alignment between approaches in ethics assessment, research integrity, corporate social responsibility, responsible research and innovation, and other related approaches. This extensive approach stands out in comparison with other initiatives that focus more narrowly on the development of particular professional tools.

The main idea of the heritage project is to set up a temporary secretariat to ensure coordination between different actors, projects and initiatives in and around ethics assessment. The mandate of the secretariat would be to pursue the ongoing alignment between, on the one hand, the SATORI framework and the processes of uptake that follow from the project and, on the other, relevant European-level actors, projects and initiatives that are compatible with the SATORI roadmap. The secretariat would be charged with serving as a nexus for interaction between organizations with closely related missions, that currently do not achieve the kind of synergy in their approaches to ethics and ethics assessment that one could imagine. In practical terms, some of the tasks that such a support function might be able to solve are: sustaining communication, expanding the SATORI network, and providing support for capacity building. The secretariat needs to be well-coordinated with ongoing projects and initiatives in the field. It would therefore be wise to have the secretariat hosted or staffed by organizations involved in several of these projects.

The temporary secretariat strategy is to be complemented by two additional strategy elements. The first is voluntary collaboration to advance the SATORI standard. Interested organizations and institutions could engage in a SATORI follow-up by carrying out pilot implementations of the SATORI CWAs and to evaluate their usefulness as standards for practice and as tools for conformity assessment. If a secretariat were established, it could develop a pilot implementation and evaluation template in dialogue with the parties to the follow-up project and gather and process feedback from pilots. The natural leader of this activity would be the CEN network, which includes members involved in SATORI. However, the CEN network and its members would need commitment from stakeholders, and additional funding to provide dissemination and support beyond the usual. These additional tasks could be taken up by the secretariat proposed above. Funding for this strategy element would consist in part of already allocated funding for the regular CEN CWA dissemination and revision process; and in part of internal funding invested by stakeholders based on the CWA process.

The second additional element is establishing ethics assessment as a cross-cutting priority in H2020/FP9. Projects funded by H2020/FP9 need to be mandated to take up specific aspects or the whole of the SATORI results, make use of them in ways to be specified on a per-project basis, test, critique, and improve upon them. Potential leaders, beyond the Commission itself, include already established cross-cutting initiatives. Representatives of the EUREC, ENERI, and ENRIO initiatives have all expressed interest in taking the first steps in establishing such a chain-letter effect. These representatives have also expressed interest, while voicing concern that without proper funding and a common infrastructure, such efforts may reach suboptimal results. For funding, this strategy element could draw on the funding available in the H2020/FP9 programme on a per-project basis.