Constructive Technology Assessment

Versteeg, T, Baumann M, Weil M, Moniz AB.  2017.  Exploring emerging battery technology for grid-connected energy storage with Constructive Technology Assessment. Technological Forecasting and Social Change. 115:99-110. AbstractWebsite

The last decades have shown an increasing amount of research into expectations of science and technology. Especially for emerging technologies, expectations held by different stakeholder are guiding the direction of research and development. In this article the results of an investigation into the expectations of specific actors regarding the development of emerging battery technology for applications in the power grid are presented. It is set up as an explorative study within the framework of Constructive Technology Assessment (CTA). A number of studies since the 1990s have indicated a growing need for energy storage options in the power grid, where batteries appear to be capable of providing a range of valuable services to the grid. Cost-effectiveness on a large scale will however require considerable technical improvements. The configuration of energy storage may differ in the specific location and exploitation of the storage assets, as well as in the investments in new storage capacity. In this study the visions and expectations of several relevant actors are analysed using interviews and surveys in terms of expectations of technological development, expectations concerning stakeholder roles, and channels of interaction between the relevant actors. The results indicate a divide in expectations between the user side of the technology (the electric power industry) and the development side (academic researchers). Opinions differ with respect to the obstacles to technological development, the actors relevant in early technological development, and the most suitable channels for interaction between these actors. It follows from the theoretical background that conflicts in expectations provide the opportunity for the acceleration of technological development and adoption through stakeholder participation. Small interactive workshops, where conflicts identified in this paper are discussed, were identified as a suitable channel in order to reach consensus in visions and expectations for battery technology.

Moretto, S, Robinson D, Schippl J, Moniz AB.  2016.  Beyond Visions: Survey to the High-speed Train Industry. Transportation Research Procedia. 14:1839-1846. AbstractWebsite

In Europe, the technology development of high-speed trains is increasingly exposed to societal needs, driven by ICT advancements, external to traditional design. Together with the liberalisation of the rail markets and increase pressures from other transport modes leads to an unprecedented situation where planers, operators and suppliers of high-speed have to take decision in this complex and competitive environment.
In such broadening of elements influencing design and, thus, product development process, from the survey here to be presented, it was not observed technology options assessment or strategic agenda setting from visions shifting in the same way.
For the high-speed train industry this new trend requires going beyond the visions of the past 15 to 20 years’ practices of “sector endogenous” and structurally closed strategic methods approaches to a broader interaction with the widening of societal actors now capable of being active contributors to innovation from digitalization.
This way to understand the European industry readiness for undertaking such supra systemic challenge, this paper presents the results from a survey conducted by the authors to 74 representatives of the high-speed train innovation chain regarding to which extent societal embedding is considered in the drafting of their visions and technology development projects.
This work becomes even more pertinent if considered that the debate is now open in the railway industry (not exclusive to high-speed trains) as they are launching the joint initiative SHIFT2RAIL, revise ERRAC (the European Rail Research Advisory Council) mandate and enter in a new research cycle with the European research framework Horizon 2020.

Manuel  Baumann

Manuel Baumann


Since Jan. 2012 Researcher and deputy research group leader (full time) at the Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analyses (ITAS) / Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). Research area: Electrochemical energy storage, techno-economic modeling and life cycle assessment.
Current project at ITAS: Research affiliate in frame of the DFG project "POLiS - Post Lithium Storage Cluster of Excellence", KIT, Center for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research (ZSW), University of Giessen and University of Ulm

Susana Martins Moretto

Susana Martins Moretto

Integrated member

MORETTO, Susana, PhD Visiting researcher in Hong Kong CICS.Nova Interdisciplinary Center for Social Sciences Faculty of Sciences and Technology, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal In association with the ITAS- Institute of Technology Assessment of the KIT-Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany Mobile +852-67337613 E-Mail Linked in

My name is Susana Martins Moretto, I have a PhD in Technology Assessment applied to the European high-speed train system, awarded by the Department of Social Sciences, Faculty of Sciences and Technology, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal in partnership with the Institute for Technology Assessment ITAS from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. I dedicate my time to research of practices that allow for reciprocal knowledge dialogues to occur between railways and society in Europe from product development to its entry in the market.