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Research and innovation

Plenary meetings of the Group of Chief Scientific Advisors

Reports, agendas and minutes of all plenary group meetings.

2022

34th meeting – 9 June 2022 (via Webex)

The Advisors

  • Discussed the ongoing scientific opinion on ‘Strategic crisis management in the EU’ and possible follow-up activities for their scientific opinions ‘Cancer screening’ (published 2 March 2022) and ‘A systemic approach to energy transition in Europe’; 
  • Exchanged ideas and are ready to begin work on the topic ‘Sustainable food consumption’ (working title) pending a mandate from Commissioner Gabriel (Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth);
  • Reported on their recent exchanges with the chair and vice chair of the European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies (EGE) and their agreement to strengthen synergies between the two advisory groups, particularly in the field of crisis management;
  • Met with Sandrine Dixson-Declève, chair of the Expert Group on the Economic and Societal Impact of Research and Innovation (ESIR) and agreed to further explore areas of common interest and to discuss potential opportunities for collaboration and synergies;
  • Met with Antonio Loprieno (Chair of the SAPEA board), Jacek Kolanowski and  Moniek Tromp (Chair and Vice Chair of the Young Science Academies), and SAPEA representatives who informed about the progress of their work, exchanged ideas on potential immediate and long-term topics, informed about SAPEA’s staffing situation and its revision of quality guidelines.

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33rd meeting – 2 March 2022 (via Webex)

The Advisors

  • Discussed the ongoing scientific opinion on ‘Strategic crisis management in the EU’ and follow-up activities for their scientific opinions ‘Cancer screening’ (published 2 March 2022) and ‘A systemic approach to energy transition in Europe’.
  • Exchanged ideas on potential future topics.
  • Met with Antonio Loprieno (Chairman of the SAPEA board), Jacek Kolanowski and Moniek Tromp (Chair and Vice Chair of the Young Science Academies), and SAPEA representatives who informed about the progress of their work, exchanged ideas on potential immediate and long-term topics and updated participants on the successful response for the conference on ‘Scientific advice under pressure’ to take place on 27-28 April 2022 in Brussels.

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2021

32nd meeting – 2 December 2021 (via Webex)

The Advisors

  • Met with Jean-Eric Paquet (Director-General of DG RTD) and Joanna Drake (Deputy Director-General of DG RTD) and exchanged views on strengths and challenges of the Group of Chief Scientific Advisors and possible ways towards an evolution of the scientific advice mechanism.
  • Discussed ongoing topics ‘Strategic crisis management in the EU’ and ‘Cancer screening’.
  • Exchanged ideas on outreach activities and possible options for engaging with international counterparts.
  • Met with Antonio Loprieno (Chairman of the SAPEA board), Moniek Tromp (Vice chair of the Young Science Academies), and SAPEA representatives who informed about the progress of their work and about the conference of the Scientific Advice Mechanism on ‘Scientific advice under pressure’ to take place on 27-28 April 2022 in Brussels.

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31st meeting – 16 September 2021 (via Webex)

The Advisors

  • Met with Maroš Šefčovič, Vice-President for Interinstitutional Relations and Foresight, and exchanged ideas on possible avenues for future cooperation on foresight activities.
  • Met with Patrick Child, Deputy Director-General of DG RTD, and exchanged views on strengths and challenges of the Group of Chief Scientific Advisors and possible ways towards an evolution of the scientific advice mechanism.
  • Discussed ongoing topics ‘Strategic crisis management in the EU’ and ‘Cancer screening’.
  • Exchanged ideas on outreach activities and possible options for engaging with international counterparts.
  • Met with Antonio Loprieno (Chairman of the SAPEA board), Jacek Kolanowski and  Moniek Tromp (Chair and vice chair of the Young Science Academies), and SAPEA representatives who informed about the progress of their work and informed participants about its annual conference in April 2022 related to COVID-19 and crises more broadly.

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30th meeting – 14 July 2021 (via Webex)

The Advisors

  • Discussed ongoing topics ‘Strategic crisis management in the EU’ and ‘Cancer screening’ and recalled the hand-over of the opinion ‘Energy systems – A systemic approach to energy in Europe’ to Commissioner Gabriel on 29 June 2021.
  • Exchanged ideas on outreach activities and synergies including possible modalities for an “alumni network” and for a Roundtable on science advice for policy.
  • Met with Tarmo Soomere (chair of the European Science Advisors Forum (ESAF) and President of the Estonian Academy of Science) to exchange views about the work of ESAF and the Advisors’.
  • Met with Antonio Loprieno (Chairman of the SAPEA board), Moniek Tromp (Deputy Chair of the Young Science Academies), and SAPEA representatives who informed about the progress of their work and exchanged views about the SAPEA successor grant agreement.

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29th meeting – 11 May 2021 (via Webex)

The Advisors

  • Thanked Paul Nurse and Carina Keskitalo, whose mandates end on 15 May 2021, for their invaluable work.
  • Welcomed Jacek Kolanowski and Moniek Tromp, current chair and deputy chair of the Young Science Academies (YASAS) as permanent observers to the plenary meetings.
  • Elected Nebojsa Nakicenovic as new deputy chair of the Group of Chief Scientific Advisors as of 16 May 2021.
  • Discussed ongoing topics ‘Energy systems – A systemic approach to energy in Europe’, ‘Strategic crisis management in the EU’ and ‘Cancer screening’.
  • Met with SAPEA representatives who informed about the progress of their work and exchanged views about the SAPEA successor grant agreement and about prioritising top-down topics.
  • Discussed their role in the science-advice-for-policy ecosystem and possible involvement of former Chief Scientific Advisors in some areas of their work.

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28th meeting – 15-16 March 2021 (via Webex)

The Advisors

  • Met with Stephen Quest, Director-General of the Joint Research Centre, and exchanged information about their respective work and ways to further strengthen cooperation.
  • Discussed ongoing topics ‘Energy systems - A systemic approach to energy in Europe’; ‘Strategic crisis management in the EU’ and possible future topic ‘Cancer screening’ and ‘5G- Health aspects of electromagnetic fields’.
  • Exchanged views on possibilities of synergies within the ecosystem of science advice for policy and of activities on lessons learned for science advice in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Met with SAPEA representatives, who informed about the progress and efforts towards transparency and inclusiveness in the identification process of experts and discussed ongoing work on ‘Strategic crisis management in the EU’ and the importance of optimising collaboration by focussing on relevant topics for which there is clear policy need. 

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27th meeting – 19 January 2021 (via Webex)

The Advisors

  • Discussed ongoing topics ‘Crisis prevention, preparedness, response and resilience’ (working title) ‘A systemic approach to the energy transition in Europe’   and candidate topics: ‘Cancer screening’ and ‘5G’.
  • Met with SAPEA representatives, who presented selected chapters of their third periodic report with focus on key performance indicators, communication and outreach as proxies for the impact.  SAPEA and the European Federation of Academies of Sciences and Humanities (ALLEA) expressed particular interest in the work on the topic of ‘Crisis prevention, preparedness, response and resilience’.

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2020

26th meeting – 17-18 November 2020 (via Webex)

The Advisors

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25th meeting – 24-25 September 2020 (via Webex)

The Advisors

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24th meeting – 10 June (via Webex)

The Advisors

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23rd meeting – 11-12 May 2020 (via Webex)

The Advisors

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22nd meeting – 18 March 2020 (via Webex)

The Advisors

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21st meeting – 3-5 February 2020

The Advisors

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2019

20th meeting – 10-11 December 2019

The advisors

  • presented their draft-final 4-year report describing their achievements to Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, Mariya Gabriel and Vice-President for Inter-institutional Relations and Foresight, Maroš Šefčovič.
  • informed the Commissioner and Vice-President about ongoing and planned topics, and discussed areas for further co-operation.
  • exchanged information on on-going and future work with MEP Eva Kaili, Chair of the Science and Technology Options Assessment (STOA) Panel
  • adopted the scoping paper: ‘Biodegradability of plastics in the open environment

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19th meeting – 24-25 September 2019

The advisors

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18th meeting – 14-15 May 2019

The advisors met

  • Carlos Moedas (Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation) and Vladimir Šucha (Director-General for Joint Research Centre) to discuss the forthcoming report Making Sense of Science for Policy under Conditions of Complexity and Uncertainty as well as the JRC’s report 'Understanding our Political Nature'
  • Sir Patrick Vallance (Chief Scientific Advisor to the UK Government) and exchanged views and experience on scientific advice
  • Anne Bucher (Director-General for Health and Food Safety) to discuss Plant Protection Products and New Techniques in Agricultural Biotechnology
  • Sir Andrew Haines (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Professor of Environmental Change and Public Health) who presented the recent EASAC report 'The imperative of climate action to protect human health in Europe' in the context of the advisors’ planned work on Climate Change and Health
  • Sierd Cloetingh (President of Academia Europaea and Chair of the SAPEA Board)

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17th meeting – 22-23 March 2019

The advisors

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16th meeting – 12-13 January 2019

The advisors

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2018

15th meeting – 4-5 December 2018

The advisors

  • welcomed Commissioners Phil Hogan (Agriculture and Rural Development and Research) and Carlos Moedas (Research, Science and Innovation) to discuss the topic Sustainable Food Systems
  • discussed their ongoing work on Microplastic Pollution, including the forthcoming session at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) meeting, February 2019, and a meeting organised with the Chief Scientific Advisor to the Canadian Government, Mona Nemer, Scientific Advice Cooperation on Micro-plastics Pollution
  • Met a representative of the Directorate General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries on the continuing impact of the scientific opinion Food from the Oceans

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14th meeting – 10-11 October 2018

The advisors

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13th meeting – 9-10 July 2018

The advisors

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12th meeting – 27 April 2018

The advisors

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11th meeting – 31 January 2018

The advisors

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2017

10th meeting – 30 November 2017

The advisors

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9th meeting – 5 September 2017

The advisors

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8th meeting – 27-28 June 2017

The advisors

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7th meeting – 23-24 March 2017

The advisors

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6th meeting – 30-31 January 2017

The advisors presented draft findings from their work on Cybersecurity in the European Digital Single Marketto Commissioner Carlos Moedas and Commission Vice-President Andrus Ansip, responsible for the Digital Single Market.

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2016

5th meeting – 24-25 November 2016

During the meeting, the advisors approved scoping papers on 2 new topics: Food from the Oceans and New Techniques in Agricultural Biotechnology.

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4th meeting – 28 September 2016

The advisors discussed ongoing topics concerning vehicular CO2 emissions measurement and cybersecurity, together with new possible topics.

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3rd meeting – 25 July 2016

The advisors discussed

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2nd meeting – 17 March 2016

The advisors

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1st meeting – 29 January 2016

During the meeting, the 7 leading scientists who form the Group of Chief Scientific Advisors

  • met Carlos Moedas (Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation) and Andrus Ansip (Commission's Vice-President for the Digital Single Market)
  • agreed that cybersecurity would be one subject for the group's scientific advice
  • decided to examine CO2 emissions from cars, specifically to explore future policies regulating the measurement of CO2 to better reflect normal driving conditions

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