TAB's primary task is to design and implement technology assessment (TA) projects. These projects are supplemented by projects analysing important scientific and technological trends and the associated social developments (monitoring). TAB is expanding its range of activities by contributing to long-term technology foresight (Future Reports) and analysing international policies (Policy Benchmarking Reports) and innovation developments (Innovation Reports).
As seen by TAB the objectives of TA as an advisory function for policy areto analyse the potentials of new scientific and technological developments and identify and explore the associated social, economic and ecological opportunities, to examine the legal, economic and social framework conditions for implementing scientific and technological developments, to provide a comprehensive analysis of the potential impact of future utilisation of new scientific and technological developments and indicate the possibilities for strategic exploitation of the potential uses of technologies and avoiding or reducing the associated risks, and from this basis to develop alternative options for action and guidance for political decision makers.
TAB is an independent scientific institution created with the objective of advising the German Bundestag and its committees on matters relating to research and technology. TAB is operated by the Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS) at the Karlsruhe Research Centre and is an operational unit of ITAS. In executing its working programme the Karlsruhe Research Centre cooperates with a number of further research organisations.
TAB's work is strictly oriented towards the information needs of the Parliament and its committees. The political control organ is the Committee on Education, Research and Technology Assessment, which decides on the initiation of TA projects. Motions to start a TA project can be submitted by parliamentary political groups on the Committee on Education, Research and Technology Assessment or in other committees. TAB's director has scientific responsibility for the working results of TAB. Rapporteurs from one or more committees assist TAB projects and help integrate the results into the committees' activities. The findings of TA projects and other TAB activities are primarily made available in the form of TAB working reports. The final reports on TA projects are also published as printed papers of the German Parliament (Bundestagsdrucksache). Since 1996 final reports on TA projects have appeared in a series of books ("Studies by the Office of Technology Assessment at the German Bundestag").
Büro für Technikfolgen-Abschätzung
Director: Prof. Dr. Armin Grunwald
EPTA delegate: Dr. Reinhard Grünwald