The SCAR Committee is taking forward coordination action on a number of fronts. It has taken a strategic view of on-going funder collaboration in Europe, identified priority areas for further collaboration and established a number of member state collaborative working groups. It has initiated a foresight exercise to formulate possible scenarios for European agriculture over the next 20 or so years on which to base the prioritisation of agriculture-related research in Europe in the medium to long term. The Committee is also involved in the mapping of EU agricultural research capacity through the European Commission funded “EU-AGRI-MAPPING” project, which aims to analyse the status of agricultural and food research in Europe and identify trends and needs with respect to agricultural research.
The results of these initiatives provided input to the Communication "Towards a coherent strategy for a European Agricultural Research Agenda "
233 kb], adopted by the Commission on 15 December 2008, and transmitted to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee, and the Committee of the Regions.
The Communication describes how the agenda for agricultural research has changed dramatically over the past three decades and highlights a number of key initiatives to address the new challenges for European agriculture.
These initiatives involve the development of effective and coordinated long-term programming based on a coherent strategy and allowing for a regular consultation of all research actors. In this respect the Communication fundamentally describes the role of SCAR which over the past four years has become the strategic oversight body supervising the various agriculture-related efforts carried out by all European public research bodies.
"Towards a coherent strategy for a European Agricultural Research Agenda
" can be seen as an invaluable tool in the planning phases for the launching of any Joint Programming initiative. Joint Programming has stemmed from Member States beginning to rethink previously isolated and exclusively national research approaches towards what are essentially cross-border challenges.
Under this exercise food and agriculture has been identified as one of four main issues facing society today. There is thus a need for a shared vision based on a "true scientific partnership policy" between private and public sectors and on the establishment of a regular dialogue with relevant stakeholders from related research organisations and Technology Platforms (ETPs) who are involved in defining strategic agendas in similar research fields.