Having officially started on May 1, ASSERT saw the first in a series of events: its two-day Kickoff Meeting took place on May 7-8 in Vienna. The intense discussions were driven by ASSERT’s main objectives to:
- contribute to the improvement of security solutions by integrating consideration of societal impact of research into the design/development process,
- enhance the visibility of the types of societal impacts security research can cause,
- provide future consortia with tools and guidelines to better assess societal impacts of their research projects already in the early phases of project development,
- increase and balance public perception of security research by ASSERTING that societal requirements are not restrictions to technical feasibility and political planning, but a necessary complement;
- analyse the state of the art in assessing societal impact of research activities, identify best practise cases and, based on these findings, contribute to the development of novel impact assessment solutions that will guarantee security research solutions are in line with values as enshrined e.g. in the European Convention on Human Rights.
It was agreed that the engagement of security experts in the ASSERT working process will be crucial, also with regard to raising awareness of our scientific results among the pool of people who carry out assessments of security research projects.
The fundamentals were laid for the development of a specific training format to enhance the visibility of societal impact and its assessment among evaluators, which we have come to call the ASSERT Master Class. This event will be open to experts and project evaluators. The Master Class will be implemented at a later stage of the ASSERT project lifecycle when results have reached a certain maturity. The next steps within ASSERT will include starting work on the state of the art and research on best practices of societal impact assessment that are already “out there”.