Technological innovation in the minerals industry must be driven by the need to improve performance according to social, as well as environmental, safety, efficiency and production criteria. This paper outlines the possibilities and rationale for incorporating constructive technology assessment (CTA) into technology research and development within the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) Minerals Down Under National Research Flagship (MDU). MDU represents an $80 million per year investment in transformational mineral technology. The paper reports on the development of a process called Social Licence in Design to address the future social challenges and opportunities of the technologies that may arise during implementation. Social Licence in Design utilises social research techniques to account for the perspectives and values of decision makers and likely stakeholders. Interviews with senior technologists and social scientists within MDU reveal the institutional context into which the Social Licence in Design process is to be situated and highlight key factors that may inhibit or enhance its uptake. Despite the long history of CTA the paper is the first to report on the incorporation of a CTA process to address the social implications of technology development within a mineral R&D institution.

Publisher: Technological Forecasting and Social Change

Region: Australia

Type: Research Paper

CITATION

Daniel M. Franks, Tamar Cohen, Social Licence in Design: Constructive technology assessment within a mineral research and development institution, Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Volume 79, Issue 7, September 2012, Pages 1229-1240, ISSN 0040-1625, 10.1016/j.techfore.2012.03.001.
(http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0040162512000674)

Social Licence in Design: Constructive technology assessment within a mineral research and development institution
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Social Licence in Design: Constructive technology assessment within a mineral research and development institution