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. All EU Member States are required to monitor radioactivity in the environment. The JRC is responsible for collecting this data in standardised form, where it is then validated and compiled into databases.


    Science Areas: Environment and climate change, Nuclear safety and security, Safety and Security
    Keywords: nuclear, safety, environment
  2. The JRC, together with the European Railways Agency (ERA), has developed the European Railway Accident Information Links (ERAIL) system, where all railway accident reports and the biannual safety performance indicators of the Member States are recorded, according to Directive 2004/49/EC.


    Science Areas: Energy and transport, Safety and Security
    Keywords: transport, safety, accident
  3. Reactor safety research at the JRC contributes to the implementation of the Nuclear Safety Directive in order to ensure the highest standards of safety are achieved and maintained throughout the EU.


    Science Areas: Nuclear safety and security, Safety and Security
    Keywords: nuclear, safety, reactor
  4. Good health care requires reliable measurements of health status markers, mainly in blood samples. Such In-Vitro Diagnostics measurements need to be comparable over different hospitals and countries, and over time. The JRC performs pre-normative research, develops reference materials and methods, and coordinates the input from the medical profession and industry for the standardisation process. The JRC contributes to regulatory initiatives from the European Commission, and to documentary standards from e.g. the International Standards Organisation.


    Science Areas: Health and consumer protection, Standards
    Keywords: health, reference material
  5. The JRC provides state-of-the-art certified reference materials as quality assurance and quality control tools for the implementation of EU environmental policies.


    Science Areas: Environment and climate change, Standards
    Keywords: environment, reference material
  6. The certified reference materials distributed by the JRC give measurement laboratories a means to validate analytical methods, to assess the quality of the measurement results and to demonstrate their traceability to stated references such as the SI units. Over the years, the JRC has developed a broad variety of food related reference materials covering a wide range of analyte/matrix combinations.


    Science Areas: Health and consumer protection, Standards
    Keywords: food/feed, safety, reference material
  7. Fuel quality is an important energy issue for industry as well as for citizens. When using fuels in car engines or domestic heating, systems consumers need to be sure that the fuel does not cause any malfunction or damage to their equipment. Similarly, consumers are increasingly aware also of the environmental impact of their fuel consumption. The JRC provides certified reference materials for fuel analysis for a wide range of parameters relevant for the quality and environmental impact of fuels, be it conventional fossil fuels or biofuels.


    Science Areas: Energy and transport, Standards
    Keywords: transport, reference material, fuel
  8. For the implementation of the European legislation that regulates the authorisation and the labelling of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), the JRC develops, produces and distributes certified reference materials. These CRMs are used for the calibration or quality control of GMO quantification measurements.


    Science Areas: Health and consumer protection, Standards
    Keywords: GMO, reference material
  9. Reference materials for materials science underpin many industrial processes and give companies as well as regulators the confidence in these measurements that strengthen assessments of legal as well as company and customer-specific specifications. This work supports the common European market and helps European companies to compete on a global scale


    Science Areas: Standards
    Keywords: reference material, materials science
  10. The regular occurrence of food borne pathogen related outbreaks in the EU, the ongoing struggle with pathogens in health care and public health as well as the security threat related to the potential misuse of pathogens emphasise the need for an adequate and reliable monitoring system and preparedness against these risks. Consequently the JRC is aiming at maintaining a high level of quality of the measurements which have to be carried out in this context by developing and providing suitable quality assurance tools, such as reference materials, and measurement techniques.


    Science Areas: Health and consumer protection, Safety and Security, Standards
    Keywords: reference material, microbiology