Assessing Security Research: Tools and methodologies to measure societal impact

Security research projects can have a range of effects upon the society in which are they conducted, and upon different individuals and groups. Social Impact Assessment is based on a procedural understanding of (security) technology research and development that does not distinguish between the technology on the one and the society on the other side. Rather, SIA as we understand it sets out to assess the societal dimensions of the R&D process from the beginning on and to feed back the results into the R&D process. ASSERT was a two-year project, running from 2013-2014. Starting from a synthesis of state of the art discussions on societal security, ASSERT identified best practice cases exploring and assessing societal impacts of science and technology in the security domain and beyond. The project developed a master class concept  to provide guidance and stimulate thought and reflection on the societal dimension of security and how to operationalise this concept in the development of a security research project. Trilateral developed an online toolkit to support the master class and make societal impact assessment approaches accessible and usable for researchers in security.

Client: European Commission, European Unions Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no 313062