New technologies can significantly improve the quality of life. However, there are often downsides. What happens when technologies are used differently than intended or are deliberately misused? This is where the project “Foresight of Evolving Security Threats Posed by Emerging Technologies” (FESTOS) came in. The scientists’ goal was to identify dangers that had not been considered when using new technology. To this end, the project team examined new technologies and their fields of application. Included were dangers from terrorism and organised crime. The project staff wanted to raise awareness in order to identify and assess emerging dangers at an early stage. To this end, they developed guidelines and approaches for action. The aim was to reduce potential dangers as much as possible. FESTOS analysed the following fields of technology:

  • Nanotechnology;
  • Biotechnology;
  • Information and communication technology;
  • Robotics;
  • new materials and
  • converging technologies.

The future study produced in the project was oriented towards a time frame of 20 years to the year 2030. nexus developed the scenarios on technological security threats together with the Centre for Technology and Society at the Technical University of Berlin. The basis was expert surveys and interviews, previous research results and narrative scenarios.

Duration: 03/2009 – 12/2011
Client:EU-Kommission, 7. Forschungsrahmenprogramm
Dr. Hans-Liudger Dienel (Project manager), Roman Peperhove
Project partner:
Interdisciplinary Centre for Technology Analysis and Forecasting (ICTAF), University Tel-Aviv, Israel
Turku School of Economics, Finland Futures Research Centre, Finnland
Foundation for European Scientific Cooperation, Polen
EFPConsulting (UK) Ltd, Großbritannien
Zentrum Technik und Gesellschaft (ZTG) der Technischen Universität, Berlin