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Ethics Advisory Board

The purpose of the Ethical Advisory Board, EAB, is to comment on the Graphene Flagship's description of action, and how it complies with the ethical standards for research and innovation. The consortium is in regular contact with the EAB and seeks input on ethical issues as they emerge.

The following three areas are of particular interest, but may change as the Flagship progresses towards higher technology readiness level (TRL):

  • Ethics of biological, health and environmental effects of graphene, and on biomedical and related applications. Any of these might involve in vitro research, small or large animal models, and eventually human interventions.
  • Dual use. While all the research has an exclusively civilian focus, some of the technologies developed might find broader uses. This issue is becoming more important as the Flagship moves to higher TRLs.
  • Responsible research and innovation. Since the Flagship covers a very broad range of topics, it has a wide variety of societal connections.

The EAB's role is to advise on:

  • Flagship activities to ensure ethical use of materials and animals.
  • The possible environmental and ethical implications from technologies developed by the Graphene Flagship.
  • How regulations proposed by environmental protection agencies or consumer groups may affect the progress and development of graphene objectives or any of its S&T products.


Current EAB Members

Ursula Hohlneicher (AstraZeneca)

Ursula Hohlneicher has worked in senior compliance roles supporting R&D, Manufacturing & Operations, IT and global strategic planning business units at AstraZeneca since 2011.  She has a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University in Cologne; in her more than 20 years with the company she has moved from contributing to drug development as a scientist into project management where here she was responsible for the global implementation of an Electronic Lab Notebook and associated risk management and then into Compliance. In her current role as General Manager Compliance she is responsible for providing leadership and advice related to compliance to the business with a focus on compliance aspects related to interactions with Health Care Professionals and other 3rd parties as well as Bioethics, the use of digital media, risk assessment and different approaches for compliance training.


Steven Savage (FOI - Swedish Defence Research Agency )

Steven Savage studied in the UK and graduated with an MSc in chemistry from the University of Salford and a PhD in applied physics from the University of Hull. After moving to Sweden in 1986 he joined the Institute for Metals Research (now part of RISE and SWERIM) and in 1991 joined what is now the Swedish Defence Research Agency. Along the way he became docent in materials at KTH. He is today research director (materials), and is involved in a number of different materials-related projects.

Steven’s research interests are focused on properties, processing and applications of novel materials and technologies for applications ranging from medical implants to weapons systems, and from camouflage to sensors and fall detectors for use in care homes for the elderly. In all these applications ethical questions are important, but are often  neglected by the scientists and engineers who design and develop the technology. Because of this approach ethical problems often become apparent at a relatively advanced stage of development, where it is difficult and expensive to introduce solutions and the results may be sub-optimised and ineffective. For this reason it is important that new technologies based on graphene should be aware of any ethical issues at an early stage, and if possible to design materials and applications which avoid these issues.


Norberto Patrignani (Politecnico di Torino)

Norberto Patrignani is Senior Associate Lecturer of "Computer Ethics" at Graduate School of Politecnico di Torino (where collaborates also with I3P, Innovative Enterprise Incubator of the Politecnico di Torino), Associate Lecturer of "ICT & Information Society" at Catholic University of Milano, Expert for the EU Commission - ERC (European Research Council), and Scientific Advisor for Loccioni (Ancona, Italy). He is  also the Italian national representative at Technical Committee 9 (TC9) (Relationship between Computers and Society) of the IFIP, International Federation for Information Processing. 

Patrignani's interest in taking part in the Graphene Flagship's Ethical Advisory Board is based on his focus on long-term sustainability of ICT, on the ethics and safety of novel technologies, and on the use of a responsible research and innovation approach to developing better research.

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Publishing date: 07 December 2018 09:51