Horizon 2020: EFSA’s Priority Research Topics
In 2011, the European Commission established Horizon 2020, the next Framework Programme for Research and Innovation and the first calls for research projects were launched in 2014. Horizon 2020 has three main research priorities Part I: Excellent Science; Part II: Industrial Leadership; Part III: Societal Challenges. In this context, EFSA’s activities and the related research areas fall under “Societal Challenges” and the continuation of identifying research priorities and communicating these priorities to Director-General Research and Innovation (DG-R&I), Director-General Research Agriculture and Rural development (DG-AGRI) and Director General for health and Consumer affairs (DG-SANCO) is an important aspect of EFSA’s Science Strategy. In order to support the Commission in this activity, EFSA has consulted with the Advisory Forum (AF), the Scientific Committee (SC), and EFSA’s Scientific Panels and Units.
This technical report summarises the results of this consultation which identified 42 priority research topics in the food and feed safety area, many of which were reconfirmed from the 2012 and 2013 consultation. Key examples of topics that have been re-confirmed include the need for further research and methodological developments for scientific assessment and risk assessment in a number of areas i.e. major hazards in Europe, chemical mixtures in humans and the environment, new methods in toxicology to reduce animal testing, monitoring chemicals and emerging diseases infections, farmer and consumer perception of animal health and welfare, alternative protein sources (e.g. insects), synthetic biology, new feed additives used in aquaculture, global impact of farming practices on crop pests, environmentally friendly protocols to control crop pests, risk benefit analysis.
EFSA will continue to support the European Commission in identifying priority research topics in the food and feed safety area through a yearly consultation of the AF, SC and its panels and units.