Guidelines on ethics assessment for research and innovation

To translate the SATORI research results into practical tools, a CWA (European standard) for ethics assessment and innovation is being developed. On February 1 stakeholders will meet in Ljubjana to discuss the proposal for the last time before it will be published.

The CWA exists of two parts. Part 1 describes the composition, role and functioning of an ethics assessment unit. With this document organisations, whether they are universities, start-ups or companies, can set up an assessment unit or review the functioning of an existing one. Part 2 is useful for researchers who want to assess the ethical impact of their proposal. Because standards are drafted through stakeholder consultation, they contain state-of-the-art information that is practical. Standards are considered as a reliable source of information and well-respected.

Last autumn the CWA was published for public enquiry. Stakeholders could comment on the proposal. The secretariat received no less than 500 comments. “We are pleased that so many people made an effort to review the documents and provide their input,” says Philip Brey, chair to the project committee, “This means that a standard has taken the interest of many and it is a well-needed document.” The aim of SATORI and this CWA is to improve ethics assessment practices around Europe.

The standard is expected to be published in early spring 2017.