Center for Interdisciplinary Risk and Innovation Studies

The aim of the project is the regular collection of empirical data and analysis of the attitudes, expectations and perspectives in relation to new technologies and technical change

Project Funding

Körber Foundation 
German Academy of Science and Engineering (acatech)

Project Duration

April 2017 to May 2022

TechnikRadar is a joint project by the Körber Foundationacatech, ZIRIUS and the Chair of Sociology of Technology, Risk and Environment at the University of Stuttgart. The aim of the project is to empirically investigate the attitudes, expectations and perspectives of Germans on issues of technology and technological change and to stimulate and inform discussions about innovative technologies in the public and civil society.

Since 2017, the perception of selected, forward-looking technologies and technological change has been explored every two years with the help of representative surveys. These surveys have a fixed, recurring core that enables the analysis of changes in attitudes and also examine changing focus topics such as digitalization (2018) and bioeconomy (2020). On the one hand, this method design also allows us to determine attitude trends and their influencing factors. On the other hand, it enables in-depth analyses of the key topics. In the interim years, the survey data will be supplemented by qualitative studies to gain a deeper understanding of technology perception and assessment. For example, focus groups can be used to determine technology attitudes of specific population groups, but also context conditions of different technology perceptions.

The first standardized survey wave took place in October and November 2017. The focus of the 2018 TechnikRadar study was on the impact of digitization. Its results were presented on May 25 in Berlin 2018.

The 2019 TechnikRadar "Attitudes toward digitization in a European perspective" compares our in-house representative survey from the 2018 TechnikRadar with international studies. The study reveals that Europeans have different assessments of the opportunities arising from digitization. The results of the study were presented in Berlin on May 28, 2019 and, two days after the European elections, giving rise to discussion.

TechnikRadar 2020 focuses on the effects of the bio-economy. What do Germans think about bioplastics and biofuel? How do they perceive meat substitutes from the laboratory? How do they assess new methods of organ replacement and gene therapy? These are the questions being investigated by TechnikRadar 2020, a cooperative project of acatech - German Academy of Science and Engineering, the Körber Foundation and the Center for Innovation and Risk Research at the University of Stuttgart (ZIRIUS). The focus is on the question of how Germans view the goals and possible effects of the bio-economy. The results show: When it comes to protecting the climate and the environment, the majority of Germans have a clear attitude - at least when it comes to the objectives and general demands on policy. When asked about specific measures that directly affect people, the willingness to take consistent action is less distinct.

TechnikRadar 2021

The fourth and fifth TechnikRadar (2021 and 2022) focuses on the importance of digital possibilities in medicine and health care, in addition to examining general perceptions of technological developments and in particular digitization in times of the corona crisis. In four case studies, the project will first examine the aspirations, expectations, fears and risk perceptions that characterize the public debate on health technologies. In addition to a literature and media research, we will interview relevant stakeholders and interest groups with a focus on controversial scientific and technological knowledge and its possible consequences.

The TechnikRadar 2021, Stakeholder Perspectives on the Digital Future of Health has been published.
The 2021 edition focuses on the digital transformation of healthcare, which is gaining significant momentum with the introduction of the electronic patient record, the creation of a common telematics infrastructure and the approval of digital health applications.

This study looks at the experts' debate among stakeholders and their representation in the media. Both are already of great importance in the early stages of innovations. The results show: We are facing profound changes in how sensitive health data are handled, protected, and their benefits assessed. This also has consequences for the future role, the mutual relationship and the necessary competencies of physicians and patients. The more competent doctors are in dealing with digital technologies, the greater the chances of achieving gains. TechnikRadar wants to contribute to the urgently necessary debate on how to shape this new way of dealing with our data.

Building on stakeholder perspectives, a representative population survey focusing on the future of health was conducted for the TechnikRadar 2022. Initial results of this survey, focusing on the impact of the Corona pandemic, were published in a Corona Extra in fall 2021. In addition to the population survey, an online survey was also conducted among physicians for the TechnikRadar 2022, surveying their experiences and attitudes toward digitization in the healthcare system. Detailed results of both surveys will be published in Mai 11, 2022.

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