EU Research: Horizon 2020 and Marie-Curie

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The IDEA Centre has undertaken a number of projects in connection with the European Commission’s FP-7 and Horizon 2020 programmes, and with the Marie-Sklodowska-Curie Actions. 

Each of these has required ethical analysis to ensure that the project has not been unethical in its operation or that the end product is not problematic.  Most of this work has come from the security sector and draws on Dr Kevin Macnish’s experience in working at GCHQ and the US Department of Defense, coupled with his academic research on the ethics of surveillance, security and automation.  Dr Macnish is also an experienced project ethics review expert.  He sits on the ethics review panels for Horizon 2020 security projects and for Marie-Sklodowska-Curie Actions.  He is also Chair of the University of Leeds Faculty of Arts and PVAC Research Ethics Committee and sits on the University’s Research Ethics Committee.

Professor Megone has been on the University Research Ethics Committee since its inception and co-authored its initial guiding principles. His EU funded research on European Research Ethics Committees (and Informed Consent) informed the EU Directive governing research ethics committees across the community – ‘Clinical Trials Directive 2001/20/EC Directive 2001/20/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 4 April 2001.The approximation of the laws, regulations and administrative provisions of the member states relating to the implementation of good clinical practice in the conduct of clinical trials on medicinal products for human use. Official J Eur Communities. 2001;1;L 121/34.’

The projects in which we have been involved include:

SUBITOSurveillance of Unattended Baggage and Identification and Tracking of the Owner. We provided ethical review of the computer vision component of this project, leading to presentations at the International Association of Computing and Philosophy in 2011 and the University of Tubingen in 2012, and an academic paper in the Springer journal Ethics and Information Technology.

MOSAIC – Multi-Modal Situation Assessment and Analytics Platform. We conducted an ethical audit of the entire project in 2014 in response to the requirements of an independent ethics review committee

CIPHER – Analysis of security in privately held information systems in Europe and development of a methodological framework to help prevent cybercrime. Dr Macnish is a member of the user board for this project, providing ethical comment on developments and the end product.