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Technology Assessment (TA)
Technology Assessment (TA) is the encompassing analysis and evaluation of technologies in order to develop alternatives for decision-making (6). ta has three components. In a first step possible consequences of the use of a technology have to be investigated whereby a particular interest is given to unexpected and long-term consequences. In a second step the technology itself and its immediate strengths and weaknesses have to be evaluated as well as its unexpected and long-term consequences. In a third step variants and alternatives have to be elaborated.
This definition of Technology Assessment corresponds to the proposal of the VDI (Association of German Engineers) in its "Guidelines to Technology Assessment" (7). (Hornung
The analysis of the implementation of a technology and its evaluation with regard to immediate and more general objectives. Technology Assessment comprises two parts. The first is an analytical, factual, part of scientific analysis of the functioning and of the effects of the technology considered. This takes into consideration in particular potential long-term and unexpected side effects. The second part is the normative evaluation of the results of the analysis with regard to < a href =CRITERION.HTML>criteria, goals, and objectives. This includes the comparison to other alternatives (other technologies or non-implementation). (Hornung)