External review of the impact of scientific grant and procurement projects on delivering EFSA’s tasks - Review Report
The present document has been produced and adopted by the bodies identified above as author(s). This task has been carried out exclusively by the author(s) in the context of a contract between the European Food Safety Authority and the author(s), awarded following a tender procedure. The present document is published complying with the transparency principle to which the Authority is subject. It may not be considered as an output adopted by the Authority. The European Food Safety Authority reserves its rights, view and position as regards the issues addressed and the conclusions reached in the present document, without prejudice to the rights of the authors.
EFSA commissioned this study to determine the impact of science grant and procurement projects, signed in 2009-2012, on delivery of EFSA’s tasks. The results of the review will be used by EFSA to draw conclusions with regard to grant and procurement project implementation in the past and formulate recommendations for outsourcing scientific work in the future. The research undertaken for the review included document review, consultations and benchmarking of six European Union institutions. The main purpose of science grant and procurement projects is to support EFSA in the delivery of its scientific tasks. The study findings show that EFSA science projects were frequently and widely used in EFSA scientific outputs. The study findings also demonstrate that the science projects made a positive contribution to scientific risk assessment practices in EFSA during the study period and to EFSA’s own capacity to respond to the mandates it was given. There was a strong networking and cooperation benefit from science projects for both beneficiaries and contractors. The study results suggest that EFSA could increase the impact of its grant and procurement projects through wider dissemination of project outputs. As compared to procurement projects, grant projects have a greater potential to contribute to EFSA’s objectives of supporting capacity building, cooperation and networking, and to the development of scientific knowledge that is of more general application in EFSA’s work. The impact of EFSA’s science spending with regard to these objectives could be increased by greater use of longer term, larger research (grant-funded) projects focused on topics EFSA identifies as strategic knowledge gaps that are particularly relevant to its work. EFSA could make improvements to its commissioning processes and the monitoring systems used for its science projects which could result in higher response rates to calls for proposals and better management information on proposal and project quality.