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Researchers to tackle ‘Technequality’ challenges as part of Horizon 2020 consortium



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Researchers from the Oxford Martin School are to work with academics from across the EU on a new project to understand and address the relationship between technological innovation and social inequalities.

Funded through the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 framework, the ‘Technequality’ consortium comprises the Oxford Martin School’s Technology and Employment and Technological and Economic Change programmes and teams from Maastricht University, Tilburg University, Stockholm University, WZB Berlin Social Science Centre, the European University Institute, Tallinn University and Cambridge Econometrics. It will study how recent technological innovations like robotisation, AI, big data, increased computing power and machine learning will impact existing social inequalities and labour market outcomes across the EU. It will also assess which policies and institutional configurations could help to reduce those inequalities.

“Rapid technological change will dramatically change the nature of jobs, incomes and society in the coming decades,” said Professor Ian Goldin, Director, Oxford Martin Programme on Technological and Economic Change. “We are delighted to be part of the Horizon 2020 consortium which will examine the impact on European economies and help European societies manage the risks and harvest the opportunities of disruption.”

The project will develop a comprehensive framework for understanding the socioeconomic impacts of technological transformations due to automation, through increasing robotisation and the use of AI. As technological transformation disrupts the number and types of jobs available across the EU, this project will particularly look at the changes in the demand for skills, the repercussions of a prolonged mismatch, changes to education that may be required and the impacts on social welfare.

The envisaged findings are expected to inform policy-makers at a local, national and international level across the EU, working to support their populations through technological transformation. Technequality’s goal is to go a step further and provide concrete and actionable policy recommendations to help them meet this challenge.