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Explanatory Note, New techniques in agricultural biotechnology

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On Friday, 28 April 2017, the Chair of the High Level Group of Scientific Advisors, Rolf-Dieter Heuer, submitted to the European Commission the Group’s Explanatory Note on New techniques in agricultural biotechnology, following the request of Vytenis Andriukaitis, the European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety.

In this Explanatory Note, the Group provides a detailed scientific description of the full spectrum of breeding techniques used for agricultural applications in plants, animals and microorganisms. The Note draws on existing scientific reviews, opinions and reports. It explains and compares conventional breeding techniques, established techniques of genetic modification and new techniques, and will feed into a broad reflection on how the EU can benefit from innovation in the food and agricultural sector while ensuring a high level protection of human and animal health and environment.

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Cybersecurity, 2nd Scientific Opinion

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On Friday, 24 March 2017, the Chair of the High Level Group of Scientific Advisors, Rolf-Dieter Heuer, submitted to the European Commission the Group’s 2nd Scientific Opinion on Cybersecurity in the Digital Single Market, following the request of Andrus Ansip, the European Commission Vice-President for Digital Single Market in January 2016.

In this Opinion, the Group makes a number of recommendations for policy action to make it easier and safer for people and businesses to operate online in the EU.

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SAM sessions triggered huge interest at AAAS 2017

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The European Commission’s Scientific Advice Mechanism (SAM) organised two sessions at the Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), which took place 16-20 February 2017 in Boston (USA). The sessions triggered large audiences and vibrant debates.

Check out the wrap up of the sessions and all presentations here

CyberSecurity Stakeholders Meeting

Monday 13 February the HLG will present their draft findings and observations in a stakeholders meeting involving mainly representatives from consumer and civil society organisations, as well as business. The main objective of this meeting is to gather their reactions, while encouraging a fruitful and informative exchange of views. This meeting follows the scientific expert's consultation workshop in Vilnius last October 2016.

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New members appointed to High Level Group of the Commission's Scientific Advice Mechanism

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Commissioner Moedas with the members of the SAM

Meeting for the sixth time in plenary, and one year after their first meeting in 2016, the High Level Group of Scientific Advisors welcomed Nobel Prize Laureate and Director of the Francis Crick institute Sir Paul Nurse as a guest. Sir Paul will join the HLG as a member in March 2017, following the departure of the Chair, Professor Henrik Wegener, due to his appointment as Rector of the University of Copenhagen. The HLG named Professor Rolf-Dieter Heuer as the new Chair, and Professor Pearl Dykstra the new deputy Chair.

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Upcoming Events

29 June 2017, Amsterdam - European Science Advisors Forum (E S A F) - 3rd meeting

Latest Publications

New techniques in agricultural biotechnology  PDF icon 2.3 MB
Publication cover In this Explanatory Note, the Group provides a detailed scientific description of the full spectrum of breeding techniques used for agricultural applications in plants, animals and microorganisms. »»


Cybersecurity in the European Digital Single Market  PDF icon 1.6 MB
2nd Scientific Opinion of the SAM HLG. Recommendations include making systems more secure, empowering users and strengthening Europe's strategically important cybersecurity industry


Closing the Gap  PDF icon 1.5 MB
1st Scientific Opinion of the SAM HLG


Citizen Summary  PDF icon 537 KB
on the 1st High Level Group Scientific Opinion

Upcoming meetings

  • 8th Meeting of the HLG, 27-28 June 2017
  • 9th Meeting of the HLG, 5 September 2017
  • 10th Meeting of the HLG, 29-30 November 2017

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