JRC research topics

The JRC carries out research in a wide variety of fields. Located across five sites throughout the EU, seven research institutes work in the areas of agriculture and food security, energy and transport, environment and climate change, health and consumer protection, information society, safety and security, innovation and growth, measurements and standards, and nuclear safety and security.

  1. The JRC provides essential support to policy for improving air quality, including initiatives to harmonise air quality monitoring processes and to develop integrated greenhouse gas and air pollutant emission inventories and projections. This knowledge serves as the basis for analysing the cost estimates of different policy options.


    Science Areas: Environment and climate change
    Keywords: air, quality
  2. The JRC can estimate and predict movements of pollutants and toxins emitted from sources such as vehicles and industry through the use of atmospheric dispersion models. 


    Science Areas: Environment and climate change, Safety and Security
    Keywords: hazard, air
  3. Aviation security refers to the prevention of acts of unlawful interference against civil aviation, such as seizure of an aircraft or placing a hazardous device onboard an aircraft. The JRC contributes to aviation security by providing scientific and technical support and advice to policy makers on aspects of measurements, testing and standardisation.


    Science Areas: Energy and transport, Safety and Security
    Keywords: air, security, transport
  4. The JRC aims to provide independent scientific advice related to the production and use of biofuels.

    The JRC’s scientific activities on bioenergy and biofuels span from a vast array of analyses in different areas to the testing of the biofuels sustainability. It includes topics such as greenhouse gas (GHG) emission savings, direct and indirect effects of land-use change, the overall availability of other primary energy sources or the most suitable and efficient production and transformation technologies. 


    Science Areas: Energy and transport
    Keywords: transport, renewable
  5. The JRC is one of the major developers and producers of reference materials, which are produced in support of EU policy, for example in the areas of nanotechnology and clinical analysis


    Science Areas: Standards
    Keywords: reference material
  6. In the fields of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) hazards, and explosives detection, the JRC provides scientific/technical support to Commission services on measurement and standardisation, based on specific expertise in measurement and testing - in chemistry, physics, analytical sciences, measurement technologies and standardisation.


    Science Areas: Safety and Security
    Keywords: CBRN
  7. The JRC actions in this area are in line with the "farm to table" concept which takes into account consumers' demands and their feedback right along the food chain.


    Science Areas: Health and consumer protection
    Keywords: food/feed, safety
  8. The labeling of food products is essential to inform consumers what kind of products they are buying. EU harmonised rules on food labeling, presentation and advertising aim to protect consumers and facilitate trade inside and outside Europe.

    Recently an initiative of the European Parliament (EP) has identified a number of foods such as: olive oil, fish, honey, dairy products and meat as being the target of fraudulent activities. This initiative calls for the development of technologies and methods to detect food fraud.


    Science Areas: Health and consumer protection
    Keywords: food/feed, quality
  9. Discontinued activity

    The 'Chocolate Directive' allows the addition of up to 5 % of vegetable fats other than cocoa butter, the so-called cocoa butter equivalents (CBEs), in chocolate. If CBEs are added, consumers have to be informed by appropriate labelling. EU member states' laws, regulations and administrative provisions have had to comply with the Chocolate Directive since August 2003.


    Science Areas: Health and consumer protection
    Keywords: food/feed, quality
  10. JRC research on genetically modified organisms (GMOs) allows the EU to reliably and effectively detect GMOs in, for example, shipments of imported food, feed, seeds and end products.


    Science Areas: Health and consumer protection
    Keywords: GMO