Risk Assessment Research Assembly
A Risk Assessment Research Assembly (RARA) was convened by EFSA, with the following objectives: build and support the case for future public funding of research in food safety; coordinate research agenda setting to ensure impact of food safety research; and provide a platform for networking, facilitating new partnerships. The Assembly attracted 200 participants from 39 countries many of whom participated for the first time in an EFSA event. The programme included an “ideas forum” where researchers “pitched”, directly and/or via posters, nearly 50 ideas for future research, as well as keynote presentations and expert panel discussions. Some key points which emerged from the various sessions included: food safety is not a problem that has “gone away” – there are still many gaps in knowledge on current issues and many new challenges emerging; food safety is an integral part of the food security agenda; the need to make science more inclusive, building trust between research and society; the importance of cooperation at all levels– regional, national, international; coordination, collaboration and communication are key to building effective research agendas; the need for researchers (and those commissioning research) to communicate more effectively on the added value for society (impact); the need for more opportunities like RARA to facilitate networking and building collaborations. EFSA was acknowledged as a knowledge broker and was called upon to coordinate future efforts with support from its national Focal Points, building on its already established and large network of research organisations spanning the entire food chain.