Ahead of the closing of the EXPO 2015 Universal Exhibition in Milan at the end of October, the European Commission today welcomes new recommendations on how European research and innovation can help improve food and nutrition security around the world. The advice will ensure a strong legacy from the Commission's presence at EXPO, which has been dedicated to the theme of global food and nutrition challenges.
The recommendations have been prepared by independent EU Scientific committee chaired by Franz Fischler and conclude the EU's scientific programme at EXPO 2015 which has been coordinated by the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC). The findings are part of a larger collection of scientific knowledge on the issue of food security and offer directions for research and innovation actions at EU and international level in the future.
Tibor Navracsics, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, and responsible for the JRC, said: "Continuous scientific progress is needed to help us ensure safe and nutritious food for all. I welcome the great effort made by scientists, policy makers, industry representatives and citizens to compile evidence on food security challenges. These recommendations are a truly valuable basis for future research actions at EU level."
Franz Fischler, Chair of the EU Scientific Steering Committee, said: "Achieving food and nutrition security requires strong commitment from policy makers. We have seen this commitment shown throughout the six months of Expo. These recommendations should be a reminder to strengthen EU research and innovation efforts to help guarantee food and nutrition security globally and end world hunger."
As a central recommendation, the Scientific Committee calls on the EU to work with its partners to establish an international panel of experts on food and nutrition security to strengthen research efforts on this topic. Other findings include the need to raise greater awareness of food security issues among policy makers and consumers/citizens; improve collaboration between farmers, research institutions, governments and industry and stimulate innovation across the food chain - from farm to plate - through a range of funding instruments, including at EU level.
The recommendations were presented to the Commission at a high-level conference a day ahead of World Food Day. The findings have been welcomed by EU Commissioners Carlos Moedas, responsible for Research, Science and Innovation; Phil Hogan, responsible for Agriculture and Rural Development; Vytenis Andriukaitis, responsible for Health and Food Safety and Neven Mimica, responsible for International Cooperation and Development, who attended the concluding events at EXPO 2015.
The EU Scientific Steering Committee's recommendations are broadly based on a discussion paper published by the committee in April, prior to the start of EXPO 2015. They reflect input collected through an online consultation of more than 300 universities and research institutes as well as six months of work and over 200 workshops organised as part of the EU scientific programme at EXPO 2015.
The EU's presence at EXPO Milan has been coordinated by the Joint Research Centre, aiming to showcase the EU's role in tackling food-related challenges to a global audience. In total, more than 145 countries have participated in this year's EXPO.
EU Scientific Steering Committee Recommendation Document post EXPO2015
International Conference Strengthening Global Food and Nutrition Security through research and innovation - lessons learned from Expo 2015