SATORI: harmonising ethical (impact) assessment of research and innovation

SATORI (Stakeholders Acting Together on the Ethics Impact Assessment for Research and Innovation) is a European research project with 17 partners. NEN is responsible for a facilitating the CWA (CEN Workshop Agreement) process, during which stakeholders draft a document with guidelines and requirements for ethical assessment.

SATORI CEN Workshop Agreement published

The SATORI CEN Workshop Agreement (CWA 17145) Ethics assessment of research and innovation is published. The CWA consists of two parts; Part 1, Ethics Committee contains core recommendations on ethics assessment and the role, composition and operations of ethics committees. Part 2 contains an ethical impact assessment framework, a novel approach for anticipating and ethically assessing social and environmental consequences of research and innovation that combines ethics assessment, impact assessment and technology assessment.

This European CWA is the result of extensive investigations and broad consultation and mutual learning processes with hundreds of stakeholders.

Eerste Europese norm voor ethische toetsing van R&I
CWA 17145 part 1 Ethics committee
CWA 17145 part 2 Ethical impact assessment framework


Several scandals on research and innovation have increased the need for ethical assessment. For the quality and public acceptance of research and innovation, it is important to improve ethical assessment. During conducting research but also when an innovation is introduced, ethical issues are relevant: how do we deal with test persons? How do we deal with privacy? What is the long term economic, social and environmental impact of an innovation? Additionally, research is increasingly conducted internationally. SATORI has as an objective to explore and harmonize existing practices of ethical assessment.

Differences and similarities

An important subtask of the project is an exploration of differences and similarities between ethical assessment in different European countries and the rest of the world. SATORI also looks into ethical assessment within different scientific disciplines and the diverse roles that ethical assessors have. This will result in defining several principles and procedures in a CWA (CEN Workshop Agreement). SATORI builds on the tradition of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI).

The objective of the CWA is to come to widely supported agreements on an European level for ethical assessment. There are several requirements and guidelines which will be layed down in this document. This should lead to a higher quality of ethical assessment and harmonization of practices.

This CWA will also be applicable for all scientific disciplines, from the medical sector to engineering to social sciences. It will also provide a useful tool to different types of assessors, including researchers, business companies, funders, originators.

The CWA process is linked with the committee CEN/TC 389 Innovation Management. The project plan, report of the kick-off meeting of 17 September 2015 and the registration form for participation can be found under the tab 'Documents' and on the website of CEN.

The CWA can be downloaded for free.

More information on the SATORI project can be found on this page.

More information on the CWA process can be found on this page.

CWA Part 2 released

The research results from work packages 1 and 4 have been used as the basis for a CEN Workshop Agreement (CWA). Existing procedures and best practices in ethics assessment were translated into a practical tool to implement ethics assessment. It is a reliable reference for any organizations and persons who would like to to set up or improve ethics assessment.

CWA 17145:2017 sets requirements and provides guidelines for ethics assessment in research and innovation (R&I).

The CWA aims to improve the quality of ethics assessment and to harmonize ethics assessment practices.

The CWA is in two parts. Both parts of the CWA are of interest to organisations or agents who are involved in performing, commissioning or funding research and innovation, and therefore have a responsibility to address ethical issues.

A CEN Workshop Agreement (CWA) is a “pre-standard.” It is a document that is drafted in a multistakeholder process and is based on consensus, but the development process is quicker and less rigorous than with a full standard.

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Are you interested to learn more about the CEN Workshop Agreement (CWA)? Please contact Marlou Bijlsma orThamar Zijlstra via


For more information please contact Marlou Bijlsma.

+ 31 15 2 690 264



For more information please contact Thamar Zijlstra.

+31 15 2 690 289


Relevante links

EU FP7 SATORI project


CEN/TC 389 Innovation Management

CEN CWA download area