Scientific Programme

Steering Committee of the EU Scientific Programme for Expo Milano 2015

Expo Milano 2015 represents an excellent opportunity for the European Union to make a significant contribution to the global debate on food security and agricultural sustainability.

The EU combines crucial importance to the role science has in addressing the continuing pressures on the global food system for the forthcoming decades. Agricultural research and development remains one of the most effective tools for substantially increasing agricultural production in a sustainable manner.

During Expo Milano 2015 we will work closely with a established steering committee to create a scientific programme, with new initiatives in the areas of research and innovation.

The Joint Reseach Centre (JRC) is leading the coordination of the Steering Committee of the EU scientific programme for Expo Milano 2015.

This joint initiative of the European Commission and the European Parliament was launched on 21st March 2014. Its chairman is Franz Fischler, former Commissioner for Agriculture and Fisheries.

The Committee consists of 11 members of high international repute: Jo Swinnen (BE), Joachim von Braun (DE), Hannelore Daniel (DE), Maria Helena Saarela (FI), Béatrice Darcy-Vrillon (FR), Peter Heffernan (IR), Claudia Sorlini (IT), Esther Kok (NL), Ewa Jakubczyk (PL), Katharina Hedlund (SE) and Tim Benton (UK). It is complemented by stakeholder representatives from the United Nations, OECD, the private sector and civil society.

This Committee was set-up to ensure the European Union takes full advantage of the opportunities offered by the Expo to establish its role as a key player in a global scientific debate, and to work toward fruitful collaboration on Expo-related matters with other stakeholders, both in the public and private spheres, which will contribute to the political legacy of the event.

The role of the steering Committee is to:

  • Provide a scientific and knowledge-based analysis related to the theme of the Expo.
  • Promote policy debate and contribute to the legacy of the Expo.
  • Offer recommendations on the definition and implementation of the EU scientific programme for the Expo.

These objectives translate into the following deliverables:

  • The publication of discussion document (see below) to decision makers containing the future priorities for research, development and innovation in the food sector as an EU contribution to the legacy of the Expo.
  • Guidance on the draft programme of EU events at the Expo.
  • Organisation of complementary activities during the Expo.


Expo 2015 EU Scientific Steering Committee Discussion paper

This discussion paper is the culmination of over a year's work by an EU appointed independent scientific steering committee, which provides expert advice on the challenges of food and nutrition security and gives guidance on the programme of events for Expo 2015. It considers those areas where European research can add most value, to highlight priorities for research, development and innovation on the theme of global food and nutrition security.

The paper identifies seven key research themes to be addressed if we are to overcome the many challenges associated with under nutrition, hunger and diseases associated with poor food choices.  Ultimately, this discussion paper will serve as a major contribution to the EU legacy of Expo 2015 as it guides our future policy actions.

The paper was officially presented on 13 April 2015 in Brussels by Tibor Navracsics, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, and responsible for the Joint Research Centre, together with Franz Fischler, Chairman of the Expo 2015 EU Scientific Steering Committee. On that same occasion, an online consultation on how science and innovation can help the EU ensuring safe, nutritious, sufficient and sustainable food globally was launched.


Key Milestones

The discussion promoted by the Committee during Expo will be framed by two major events:

The collective work of the EU Scientific Steering Committee for Expo is available in the document "New ways of providing knowledge to tackle food and nutrition security: what should the EU do?"