EU Science Hub

Centre for Advanced Studies

The JRC’s Centre for Advanced Studies (CAS) aims to enhance the JRC’s capabilities to better understand and address complex and long-term societal challenges facing the EU. 


In brief

CAS establishes strategic contacts with leading scientists and institutions. Together, JRC and external scientists, research in areas that could become relevant for policy making in the coming 3 to 5 years.

This close relationship provides access to exceptional research capacity and knowledge. The results of this collaboration forms part of the JRC’s knowledge base.

In particular, CAS 

  • brings together JRC and external scientists and researchers in a single unit.
  • addresses specific cross disciplinary research topics with a longer term perspective on EU policy.
  • promotes and develops research collaboration with top universities and institutes worldwide.

CAS is made up of two work streams:

  • CAS projects and
  • Megatrends lecture series.

Our latest brochure describes CAS in more detail.


CAS projects

CAS research projects explore new ideas in emerging scientific fields that could become relevant for policy making.

  • The focus lies on the future societal, economic and technological challenges facing the EU.
  • Previous CAS projects have examined issues on migration and the EU’s future demographic challenges.
  • Ongoing projects encompass studies on big data and digital transformation.

To tackle such challenges, teams link up their work within the CAS and to one or more JRC units.

The projects last up to 3 years. After two years, projects are reviewed and established if they will become part of the JRC’s core research activities.



Current projects

bigNOMICS: Big Data for Forecasting Economic Developments

With big data collected these days we can understand our economic and financial environment. BigNOMICS aims to improve this understanding by

  • examining financial news to improve “nowcasting” and forecasting economic and financial developments
  • analysing data on financial loans to understand the level of financial indebtedness of European households and its evolution since the 2008 financial crisis
  • researching the trade effects of European anti-dumping measures
  • measuring economic activity through seismic noise

Check out bigNOMICS’s community page for more information.

Lead scientist: Sebastiano Manzan

HUMAINT – Human behaviour and Machine INTelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) systems impact on human behaviour.

HUMAINT aims to provide an understanding of AI in different contexts. It looks at the impact of

  • algorithms on decision making in criminal justice
  • AI on the tasks we do at work
  • social robots on child development
  • AI on music and culture

Check out HUMAINT’s community page for more information.

Lead scientist: Emilia Gómez


Today, digital technologies can govern every aspect of human life.

DigiTranScope focuses on the governance of digitally transformed human societies. It has two main streams of work related to the following questions

  • is there a European way to digital transformation? What should it look like?
  • what are the new forms and scales of governance enabled by digital transformation?

Check out Digitranscope’s community page for more information.

Lead scientist: Henk Scholten

Paradigm shift in communication

The internet has radically shifted the way we communicate. We can now engage in many ways with many people. This project aims to understand this shift by

  • developing our understanding of how the internet has changed the way information is promoted and shared.
  • investigating the new communication role of institutions and local authorities in the digital era.
  • exploring ways to empower citizens in their daily interactions.
  • looking into novel and innovative ways of non-verbal human-machine communication.

Mail to the project manager:

CAS projects beginning in 2020

There are three projects starting in 2020.

  • the first focusses on novel ways to detect nano plastics. Nano plastics have the potential to cause harm to the environment and are very difficult to detect.
  • the second CAS project aims to identify how our digital footprint is used to describe and anticipate societal trends.
  • the third project looks at how digital technology may play a role in fuelling inequality and transforming society.

Past projects

CEPAM - Centre of Expertise on Population and Migration

The study aimed to dispel some common misconceptions around migration. It examined the role of migration, fertility and morality and levels of education and labour participation.

The key messages of the study are

  • we are living longer and more productive lives
  • a smaller, better-educated labour force on the horizon
  • higher immigration volumes would increase labour force size, but much less than the essential ratio of workers-to-non workers

Two major reports are available for download

The project, carried out between 2016 and 2019, was in partnership with the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) and JRC.

Lead scientist: Prof. Wolfgang Lutz


Megatrends lecture series

The Megatrends lecture series created a platform for internationally recognised speakers. It allowed them to talk with policy makers and stakeholders about the future of the EU to stimulate forward looking thinking. Past topics have included:

  • Megatrends, by Professor Ian Goldin
  • Migration, by Gregory Maniatis of the Open Society
  • Disruptive innovation by Micheal O'Leary


If you would like further information on CAS, please mail to