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Ethics Advisory Board

EU Funded

Our purpose


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 Graphene Flagship values ethics in all aspects of the project, from research topics to to societal implications.

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.
  • The use of reflection tools and practices for identifying and addressing ethical issues.

Current EAB members

Ursula Hohlneicher


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 current role as Executive Director 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


Steven Savage is research director (materials) at the Swedish Defence Research Agency. He has a Ph.D. in applied physics from the UK and spent three years in the USA before he moved to Sweden. In 1991, he joined the Defence Research Agency. He is interested in the impact of new technologies including (nano)materials such as graphene. While there are fantastic opportunities for the benefit of society, there are potential negative effects. Responsible Research and Innovation plays a pivotal role in obtaining the benefits and avoiding the negative effects of new technology.

Norberto Patrignani


Norberto Patrignani, Politecnico di Torino, is Senior Associate Lecturer of "Computer Ethics" at Graduate School of Politecnico di Torino, Ethics Expert for the EU Commission and Scientific Advisor for Loccioni (Ancona, Italy). He has a Ph.D. in Computer Ethics from Uppsala University, Sweden. 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.