We put responsible innovation principles, ethics, human rights and societal values into practice in research protocols and technology design
We foster public trust in science, research and innovation through stakeholder engagement and co-creation
Through interdisciplinary dialogue, our work addresses social needs and challenges
Our Ethical AI is built on in-depth ethical, legal and social science research
We help clients create new business opportunities through cutting-edge technologies and innovative products and services to meet societal or environmental needs
The TRENDINGTON event helped shape the European Research Agenda in Future and Emerging Technologies. It identified the hottest trends in science and technology with high global impact potential. We engaged experts in ICT, bioscience and health, energy, environment and climate change, responsible research and innovation, art and design and the public. In a co-creation exercise, we selected the top technological trends and explored ideas and visions around these to support innovators and the European Framework Programme of R&I. This activity was organised as part of the EU-funded PREFET project, in collaboration with the PREFET partners, the Spanish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities, and with participation from the European Commission.
The EU-funded Horizon 2020 SIENNA project was awarded a Champions Certificate for its contribution to the ethical dimensions of the Information Society at the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Forum. Co-organised by the UN agencies ITU, UNESCO, UNDP and UNCTAD. The WSIS Forum 2022 was the world’s largest annual gathering of the ICT for development community. Trilateral Research was deputy coordinator of SIENNA, which worked to ensure that human rights, fundamental freedoms, and ethical values are respected in the design, development and deployment of new and emerging technologies. SIENNA also developed recommendations for changes in existing legal and human rights frameworks for AI, human genetics and genomics, human enhancement technologies and robotics.
Learn more about our project SIENNA here.
Our team conducted foresight work to help understand the issues raised by new and emerging technologies, and the ethical guidelines, data protection policies and other measures policymakers need to implement now, rather than in five or six years. We developed five scenarios for artificial intelligence and big data in five areas – social care for senior citizens, information warfare, predictive policing, driverless cars and learning buddy robots. Stakeholder involvement in the process was an important part of constructing the scenarios
Learn more about our project SHERPA here.
We contributed to the ethics self-assessment process for AI projects funded by the European Commission under the Horizon Europe Programme. Trilateral participated in the training on Ethics-by-Design for AI projects in Horizon Europe at the European Commission in March 2021. This work is being carried on in the iRECS project (2022-2025).
Learn more about our project SIENNA here.
Trilateral analysed the human rights law implications of climate engineering, neurotechnologies and digital extended reality – technologies that can enhance and interfere with human rights. They challenge the suitability of existing laws to maximise the benefits to society, protect fundamental rights, and mitigate potential negative consequences. Trilateral carried out this research in the EU-funded TECHETHOS project that will form the basis for a policy consultation with the European Commission and develop legal and policy recommendations.
We provided consultative feedback to the UK Parliament, Committee on Science and Technology on the Right to Privacy to digital health data. Sharing personal data, and in particular, sensitive medical data, needs to follow the legal and human rights standards and data ethics. To mitigate and prevent the potential risks associated with sharing digital health data, careful considerations should be given to ethics and human rights standards and data protection law. This helps gain maximum benefit from sharing digital data. Our feedback centred around this approach supported with numerous examples of ethically-sound, privacy-preserving and lawful data sharing that respect and protect human rights.
Our team achieves high research impact through our commitment and passion to ethics, human rights, emerging tech and responsible innovation. We empower innovation through stakeholder engagement activities and developing credible and relevant solutions to address the ethical and human rights challenges of emerging technologies. We engage with innovators, researchers, businesses, policymakers, civil society actors, ethicists and lawyers to stimulate socially-desirable and responsible innovation and make impact.
Learn more about our project SHERPA here.
Our unique approach to responsibility-by-design through Ethics-by-design, Human Rights-by-design and Privacy-by-design aims at the systematic and agile inclusion of human rights and ethical values, principles, requirements and procedures into technology design. This includes from ideation, requirements gathering and design, integration, demonstration, testing, and taking products to market. We provide practical solutions to operationalise and manage ethics and human rights. We ensure that technologies of the future are designed for social and environmental benefit. Our approach is tailor-made to our clients’ needs and local, social, political and environmental contexts.
We provide integrated and stand-alone impact assessments of emerging technologies informed by secondary and primary research activities. Our methods are systematic and informed by global best practices and tailored to the context and technology requirement. They provide an in-depth understanding of the ethical, legal (human rights, privacy and data protection) and social challenges faced by emerging technologies.
Socio-economic impact assessments help identify and address significant and adverse impacts of technologies early-on and help maximise beneficial impacts. They can help policymakers and regulators guide the development of technologies to increase social and economic benefits. Trilateral has carried out socio-economic impact assessments relating to AI, robotics, human enhancement, cybercrime and in domains such as crisis, climate, health, and law enforcement. Our assessments follow a tailored and rigorous process to help our clients understand the consequences of new and emerging technologies, their intended purpose and applications, sectoral impact, users, affected stakeholders and their potential unintended uses.
Human rights impact assessments (HRIAs) examine policies, legislation, projects and initiatives for their impacts on human rights. Trilateral offers bespoke HRIAs to help clients determine how human rights might be adversely affected by their activities and what they can do to address this and avoid them in the future. Carrying out HRIAs is valuable to managing material risks related to environment, society and good corporate governance (ESG) and keeping public trust in new and emerging technologies. Our assessments identify and ensure compliance with human rights requirements.
We help partners and clients improve their innovation processes, including better identification of ideas at early stages and aligning them with the societal needs and challenges. Our horizon scanning tools and methodologies help identify and evaluate emerging technologies with high impact potential. Our stakeholder-based approach allows clients to construct scenarios that are uniquely suited to inform policymakers and the policy development process. We integrate and use our legal analysis and ethical, privacy, human rights and socio-economic impact assessments to understand how the current and anticipated socio-economic, political and technological drivers will impact innovation in a particular domain in the future.
We liaise with policymakers to boost impact and gain support for innovation driven by ethics and human rights. We provide policymakers with research-based, practical and solution-oriented recommendations to address policy concerns and issues and develop intervention strategies. Our work has informed public policy, e.g., in better regulation and operational tools for the ethical governance of disruptive technologies such as human genomics, human enhancement and AI & robotics; long-term vision for developing a radically new technology in IT, health and environment, and citizen participation and deliberation. Our policy engagement extends to informing standards development at the national and European level.
EUREC, the European Network of Research Ethics Committees, and the DRZE, the German Reference Centre for Ethics in the Life Sciences at the University of Bonn, have been working successfully with Trilateral for a long time in the analysis of ethical challenges arising from emerging technologies. This has been done intensively for many years in the EU projects SIENNA and SHERPA, for example, and continues in TechEthos, VERITAS and iRECS. The careful ethical analyses in the projects are always synergistically combined with the investigation of attitudes of different stakeholders from European civil society in order to make them available for the development of policy recommendations and training materials for various applications. Trilateral brings diverse skills to this work through creative colleagues. The cooperation not only creates successful joint products for the European discourse, but also gives great pleasure due to the pleasant collegiality, which we would like to share with Trilateral in the future.