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. Agricultural land covers almost half of Europe’s territory. Technological development, mechanisation, agro-chemicals and genetic research have led to structural modifications in farming practices and put pressure on the environment, leading to soil depletion, water shortages, pollution, habitat degradation and biodiversity loss.


    Science Areas: Agriculture and food security, Environment and climate change
    Keywords: agriculture, biodiversity
  2. Agriculture market and international trade research at the JRC includes monitoring markets and developing economic models as tools to support policy and international trade.


    Science Areas: Agriculture and food security
    Keywords: agriculture, market
  3. Agricultural monitoring research at the JRC involves estimating crop production and supporting the implementation of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)


    Science Areas: Agriculture and food security
    Keywords: agriculture, monitoring
  4. JRC research in the area of agricultural technological innovation includes anticipation and technological foresight on new technological areas relevant for agriculture, notably in the area of plant and animal breeding.


    Science Areas: Agriculture and food security
    Keywords: agriculture, innovation
  5. In the policy area of the information study, behavioural economics studies individuals' interactions with digital technology, or digital behaviour. The term is not new.  It has already been studied by consulting companies seeking to provide an overview of how consumers are using digital consumer goods. From the point of view of the European policy-maker, however, digital behaviour is relevant for different reasons: 


    Science Areas: Information Society
    Keywords: ICT, citizen
  6. The JRC establishes best environmental management practices (BEMPs) of organisations in order to produce Sectoral Reference Documents (SRDs) which are then used by industry and organisations and helps the implementation of the EU Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS).


    Science Areas: Environment and climate change, Innovation and growth
    Keywords: efficiency, environment, quality
  7. JRC research in this area supports the EU’s aim of addressing, mitigating, monitoring and adapting to the effects of climate change. This includes assessing and monitoring the impact of climate change, evaluating the increased risk of climate change hazards, and assessing the sustainability of climate policies.


    Science Areas: Environment and climate change
    Keywords: climate
  8. The JRC is committed to supporting the EU in limiting global climate change. For example, it provides expertise in modelling and evaluation of different energy scenarios, black carbon assessment, land use change and carbon capture and storage.


    Science Areas: Environment and climate change
    Keywords: climate, mitigation
  9. Through its international agreements the EU has endorsed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) by 20% by 2020. This will redirect EU's energy economy towards a highly efficient and low CO2 one with an important impact on climate change mitigation.

    At European level a comprehensive package of policy measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions has been initiated through the European Climate Change Programme (ECCP).


    Science Areas: Environment and climate change
    Keywords: climate, mitigation, impact assessment
  10. The scientific relevance, independence and timeliness of JRC crop yield forecast products and data are guaranteed by JRC crop forecasting research. The JRC's Monitoring Agricultural ResourceS (MARS) Unit carries out much of this research.


    Science Areas: Agriculture and food security
    Keywords: agriculture, monitoring