New Policy Brief Unlocks Recommendations for Responsible Adoption of Disruptive Public Sector Techno

New Policy Brief guides public organizations in the responsible and trustworthy adoption of disruptive technologies.



Brussels, 16 March 2022. – The UnLock cluster formed by European funded innovation projects DUET, PoliVisu, URBANAGE and ETAPAS released its first joint Policy Brief entitled “UnLocking the potential of digital disruption for responsible, sustainable and trusted urban decisions”.


Technology is advancing at a rapid pace, unlocking new insights and intelligence to transform public services in ways that were previously impossible only a few years ago. Examples of digital disruption include the innovative use of Cloud for real-time, secure data sharing across departments, the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) for policy impact prediction, and the use of Digital Twins for large-scale urban design and decision management. Implemented correctly these digital innovations can ensure privacy, autonomy and build the trust needed for digitally informed decisions which unlock opportunities and results that benefit everyone.


UnLock recognises the Public Sector has a unique responsibility to stay at the forefront of digital change to ensure disruptive new technologies for decision-making are not used in coercive or harmful ways, unintended or otherwise. Its policy brief consolidates findings from the work of multiple European cities to provide Public Administrations - at national and international level – with practical recommendations and resources for fundamental areas of consideration when embarking on digital transformation. These include embedding ethical values in implementation plans to protect people’s rights, to a focus on digital inclusion to ensure no-one is left behind, as well as working collaboratively with stakeholder ecosystems to build widescale trust and transparency in decisions and results.


Leveraging UnLock’s resources helps guide adopters towards the creation of a tailored trustworthy framework for the responsible deployment of new technologies for evidence-based decision making, taking into account ethical, social and legal considerations. These include a set of rules, governance mechanisms and tools which guide technology design and development in a manner that protects the rights of all citizens. By blending technology and data with strong leadership, engagement and collaboration the value of digital technologies for better decision making can truly be UnLocked.


“DUET is proud of its collaboration with ETAPAS, URBANAGE and Polivisu” said Lieven Raes of Digital Flanders, the coordinator of DUET. “We encourage everyone working in public administrations using Digital Twins, AI and Cloud to read our brief and think about how they can better roll-out their projects in ways that improve efficiencies, securely manage data assets, and foster greater citizen trust and engagement”.


The brief can be accessed via Zenodo.