Interdisziplinares Forschungszentrum für Technik, Arbeit und Kultur (IFZ), Austria

Interdisziplinares Forschungszentrum für Technik, Arbeit und Kultur (IFZ), Austria

The Biotechnology Research Unit at IFZ has long-standing experience and expertise in GMO risk assessment, evaluation of GMO risk research and participatory approaches in research projects. The IFZ is an interdisciplinary non-profit research organization conducting research and providing policy advice on issues related to socially and environmentally sound technology design. The institute employs 30 scientists.

Staff members:

  • Armin Spök, PhD, MSc
  • Sandra Karner, Mag.
  • Gloria Adduci, PhD., MSc

Armin Spök is senior researcher and head of the Biotechnology Research Unit and has an academic background in molecular genetics and science and technology policy. He has more than 15 years of experience in GMO risk assessment and broader risk governance issues and participated as principal investigator or researcher in more than 20 national and EU projects and has authored more than 50 publications. He is a member of expert groups on GMO risk assessment or risk communication at OECD and EU-level. For more information see here.

Sandra Karner is a researcher working on participatory approaches in science governance related to agriculture and GMOs. She recently coordinated an FP7 project on stakeholder perspectives on research needs in sustainable agrofood networks.

Gloria Adduci  is currently a research fellow at the IAS-STS (fellowship program affiliated to IFZ) working on governance issues of agricultural biotechnology. She has several years of experience in working with NGOs and broader publics on the issue of GMOs.

Selected publications:

  • Karner S, Chioncel, N. et al. (2009). Co-operative Research Design on Alternative Agro-Food Networks. FAAN Report.
  • Karner S, Chioncel, N, Spök, A. (2008): Civil Society organisations' (CSOs) participation in Co-operative research on Alterative Agro-Food Networks. Paper presented at the Conference Sustainable Consumption and Alternative Agro-Food Systems, May 2008, Arlon.
  • Millstone, E., van Zwanenberg, P, Levidow, L., Spök, A., Hirakawa, H.: Risk Assessment Policy – Differences between jurisdictions (2008). JRC Scientific and Technical Reports 23259 EN, Seville: IPTS, 2008.
  • Spök, A.; Twyman, R.M.; Fischer et al. (2008): Evolution of a regulatory framework for pharmaceuticals derived from genetically modified plants. Trends in Biotechnology 26 (9): 506-517.
  • Spök A, Hofer H, Lehner P et al. (2004): Risk Assessment of GMO Products in the European Union. Toxicity assessment, allergenicity assessment and substantial equivalence in practice and proposals for improvement and standardization: Vienna: Series of the Federal Ministry of Health and Women Vol. 7-04.