ETAPAS Project enjoys successful finalization, releases governance model on Joinup

Through an intensively tested software platform, the European initiative presents a compelling solution for public administrations seeking to ethically adopt disruptive technologies.


For over three years, the ETAPAS Project has conducted groundbreaking research to explore how public administrations can adopt disruptive technologies. In December 2023, ETAPAS presented a successful final conference — but thanks to an enthusiastic reception, the project will live on until at least 2025.

Involving fourteen partners from eight countries, including Denmark-based 2021.AI, the ETAPAS Project was first ignited by public concerns about the use of AI among governments and other state agencies. In response, the project aimed to boost trust and transparency when integrating AI into public administrations through the provision of a specialized platform.

What is the ETAPAS prototype platform?

The ETAPAS prototype platform, which is provided by 2021.AI, empowers public sector workers, policymakers, and compliance officials to adopt AI solutions in a socially responsible and legally compliant manner. With diverse input from across the EU, the platform is designed to identify, monitor, and mitigate risks associated with developing technology in the public sector.

The prototype platform is supported by an underlying ETAPAS Governance model, which contains a framework for responsible public implementation. Accordingly, the Governance model directs and informs the prototype platform, which enables execution.

“Using 2021.AI’s platform, public sector organizations can implement disruptive technologies and instantly assess social, ethical and legal risks and perform the necessary recommended actions,” said Roberta Lotti, Innovation Manager at the Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance & ETAPAS Project Coordinator.

What problems does ETAPAS solve?

The tech scene in Europe, as elsewhere, is characterized by a certain mismatch between the rapid speed of technological development and the slower speed of (often reactive) regulations. However, ETAPAS’ broad focus on emerging technologies beyond AI has kept pace with legislation such as the upcoming EU AI Act, whose scope has expanded from strictly technical definitions toward conceptually autonomous systems.

At ETAPAS’ final conference in December 2023, researchers confirmed the platform’s effectiveness in detecting and mitigating the ethical, social, and legal risks associated with public-sector AI. During evaluation, users in Greece, Italy, and Norway highlighted the need to train and ensure trustworthiness for AI assessment platforms. Clear guidelines were found to be crucial for public servants to understand the ethical assessment process.

“2021.AI’s platform enables public sector organizations to assess themselves during the entire life cycle of implementing disruptive technologies to avoid risk hindering them from implementing and afterwards continually monitoring these risks in an automated manner,” said Jesper Krognos, Senior Product Manager at 2021.AI.

The ETAPAS Governance model is available on Joinup.

For more information, please contact:
Jesper Krognos
Senior Product Manager, 2021.AI

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