The Scientific Advice Mechanism (SAM)

This mechanism will support the Commission with high quality, timely and independent scientific advice for its policy-making activities

High Level Group becomes Group of Chief Scientific Advisors

On 5 April 2018 the Commission amended its Decision C(2015) 6946 of 16 October 2015 on the setting up of the High Level Group of Scientific Advisors.

Since its creation, the Group has brought new capabilities to the policy- and decision-making apparatus of the Commission and has added value to existing advisory bodies within the Commission and other bodies, offices or agencies, including those of the Joint Research Centre. For these reasons, the Commission has decided to change the name of the Group to “Group of Chief Scientific Advisors”.

Since 2016 the Group has produced Scientific Opinions and Explanatory Notes at the request of the College on issues such as Food from the Oceans, Cybersecurity in the European Digital Single Market, and New Techniques in Agricultural Biotechnology.

C(2018)1919 of 5 April 2018 - Commission Decision amending Decision C(2015)6946
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Blue Innovation: Oceans to feed the planet, 27 February 2018, Brussels

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©Science Business 2018; SAM's scientific opinion key piece on discussion with Science Business Network

The Food from the Oceans scientific opinion and evidence review report were discussed during this Science Business organised event, “Blue Innovation: Oceans to feed the planet”. SAM High Level Group Deputy Chair Professor Pearl Dykstra and SAPEA Chair of the Working Group 1 Professor Poul Holm participated in discussion with the members of the Science Business network that includes industry, research and policy makers. The meeting report will be published shortly.

Scientific Integrity, Public Policy, and Better Regulation, European Risk Forum Conference, 20 February 2018, Brussels

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SAM's bigger picture

Prof Pearl Dykstra, Deputy Chair of the Scientific Advice Mechanism (SAM) High Level Group, gave a presentation on how to strengthen the role of science in EU policy making at the European Risk Forum Conference on Scientific Integrity, Public Policy and Better Regulation, organised in collaboration with the Bulgarian Presidency on 20 February 2018. In her talk she explained how SAM works and how it contributes to enhancing the use of scientific evidence in decision-making at EU level.

Wolfgang Burtscher, Deputy Director General Open Innovation, Open Science, Open to the World of EC Directorate-General Research and Innovation delivered a keynote speech emphasizing the need for science advice and ethical guidance in times of increasingly complex policy issues and accelerating scientific and technological development. He explained how the EC's Innovation Principle as part of the Better Regulation approach meets the requirement for a regulatory framework adjusting to evolving innovation dynamics in a global context.

Prof Sierd Cloetingh, President of Academia Europea, described the role of Science Advice for Policy by European Academies (SAPEA) in SAM.

Representatives from policy, academia, industry and scientific journals discussed how scientific integrity and reproducibility can be furthered and thus strengthen evidence-informed policy-making and promote innovation in Europe.

Novel carbon capture and utilisation technologies: research and climate aspects stakeholder meeting, 20 February 2018, Brussels

In view of the upcoming scientific opinion on 'Novel carbon capture and utilisation technologies: research and climate aspects', due to be delivered in April 2018, the Scientific Advice Mechanism (SAM) High-Level Group organised a stakeholder meeting chaired by Professor Elvira Fortunato, SAM HLG member, as a follow up to the evidence review already undertaken. The aim of the meeting was to collect reactions, comments and questions from stakeholders.

EU Aquaculture: Farmed in EU Regions Meeting, 2 February 2018, Brussels

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SAM at EU Aquaculture: Farmed in EU Regions Meeting

The European Commission and the European Committee of the Regions jointly organised the EU Aquaculture Farmed in EU Regions meeting to discuss the sustainable development of aquaculture in European regions. The meeting aimed to make regional and local level decision makers aware of the potential of aquaculture, as well as of the difficulties and opportunities facing businesses in the sector. The Scientific Advice Mechanism (SAM) High Level Group Scientific Opinion on Food from the Oceans was prominent in discussion, notably in the introductory speeches by Commissioner Vella (Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries) and MEP Carlos Iturgaiz.

Commissioner Vella said: "How will we feed the global population without putting intolerable strain on our natural environment? That is why I asked the High Level Scientists to produce the Food from the Oceans report. The answer lies in farming our seafood. Of course we must continue our work on sustainable wild fisheries, but if we are to get more seafood, it has to come from farming."

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