Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften – Institut of Technology Assessment

OEAW: The Institute of Technology Assessment (OEAW-ITA) is a research facility of the Austrian Academy of Sciences a publicly funded independent research organisation. ITA studies the implications of new technology on the environment, economy, and society. The researchers conduct interdisciplinary technology studies with three aims: 1) to better understand the interplay between technology and society from multiple perspectives; 2) to concomitantly analyse technology development; and 3) to contribute to socially responsible technology policy by advising policymakers and society. The research findings support policymakers, administration, and the general public in decision-making processes.


Saskia Favreuille

Saskia Favreuille studied Organic Agriculture, Food Systems and Agroecology. During her studies, she specialized in the topic of sustainable (urban) food systems. She is enthusiastic about all food-system related topics and its social aspects. She joined the ITA in September 2022 to work on the European funded project ToNoWaste.

Saskia Favreuille completed her bachelor’s degree in Biology and Ecology at the Grenoble-Alpes University in France. During that time, she spent a year at Leipzig University in Germany with the Erasmus program.
In 2021, she graduated from the double degree master program “Organic Agriculture, Food Systems and Agroecology” in at the University of natural resources and life sciences in Vienna, Austria and Hohenheim University in Stuttgart, Germany.
She specialized in sustainability discourses in the food system, urban agricultural systems and participatory methods. She wrote her master’s thesis on the social dimension of Edible City Solutions in Berlin’s disadvantaged neighborhoods, within the European funded project EdiCitNet.

Ulrike Bechtold

Ulrike Bechtold holds a masters degree and a PhD in Human Ecology. In 2007, she joined the ITA where she is currently working in the area of sustainability and technology. The main topics of her work embrace ambient and active assisted living (AAL), participatory approaches and climate technologies. Central to her methodology are the development of sustainability options, requirements for sustainability processes, and participatory approaches to investigate the crossroads between man, nature and technology.

From 2003 to 2007 Bechtold was a PhD research assistant for the Human Ecology working group of the University of Vienna, with special attention on transition studies, societal transition and local sustainability. Bechtold teaches Human Ecology at the University of Vienna (since 2004) and at the MODUL University, Vienna (since 2010). 
Further experience: In 2012 worked with Innova, SPA in Rome in the course of the Marie Curie project Value Ageing. From 10/2015 to 3/2016 Bechtold was working for the Danish Board of Technology (DBT) on a citizen consultation for the Human Brain Project. At the same time she worked for Innovendo in Vienna.

Mahshid Sotoudeh

Mahshid Sotoudeh is a TA researcher with a background in chemical and process engineering. She is associate professor in the field of “technology assessment and sustainability”.

From 1991 to 1994, Mahshid was research and teaching assistant at the Vienna University of Technology, working on sustainable development and interdisciplinary modelling in environmental engineering. She moved to the Chemistry and Environment Research Institute in 1994 and continued her work on the modelling of material flows in natural and industrial systems. In 1998 she started work at the ITA in the field of technology and sustainability.
She has become increasingly interested in interdisciplinary research for the analysis of complex issues at the interface between technology, environment and society. Her first research topics included clean technologies, innovation in the chemical industry and the adoption of environmental technologies, integrated environmental technologies in the cement industry and refineries, renewable resources and bioplastics. After a number of projects on the TA of innovative environmental technologies, in recent years she has become involved in a broader approach towards sustainability at national and international level. These issues include technical education for sustainable development, aging society, sustainable urban regions, Parliamentary TA, participatory methods and foresight.

Freya Schulz, MSc


Freya Schulz, MSc, is a social ecologist who started her research work in September 2022 at the Institute of Technology Assessment at the Austrian Academy of Sciences. Freya has a focus on inter- and transdisciplinary projects in the field of sustainable agriculture and food.

She studied environmental sciences and politics at the Leuphana University of Lüneburg. An Erasmus semester at the University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences led her to Vienna, where she specialized in agroecology and completed her master’s degree in social and human ecology at the Faculty for Interdisciplinary Research and Continuing Education at the Alpen-Adria University Klagenfurt. Most recently, she worked in a project funded by the German Federal Environmental Agency on the sustainable transformation of the food system.
Freya Schulz works at ITA as a Junior Scientist in the ToNoWaste project.