Standing Committee on Agricultural Research
Since its re-launch in 2004, the Standing Committee on Agricultural Research (SCAR) has provided the European Commission (EC), Member States and Associated Countries with independent policy advice on better cooperation and alignment of research activities in agriculture and the wider bioeconomy in Europe.
SCAR has been a major catalyst for the coordination of national research programmes, where it has helped shape the beginnings of an integrated European Research Area. The Committee plays an important role in coupling research and innovation and in removing barriers to innovation, and aims to make it easier for public-public and public-private sectors to work together in delivering innovation that tackles the challenges faced in the bioeconomy area.
SCAR currently represents 37 different countries, the members being ministries (or other organisations such as research councils) from all EU Member States, with Candidate and Associated Countries as observers
SCAR plenary consisting of delegates from all EU Member States, candidate Member States and states associated to the EU, is the major decision making body in SCAR. Its decisions are heavily informed by the work of SCAR Strategic (SWG) and Collaborative Working Groups (CWG) as well as by the Foresight group and ad hoc Task Forces. These groups involve delegates from diverse EU Member States who discuss strategic matters relating to research and innovation.
To date these groups have focused on formulating research and innovation policy advice on issues such as fisheries and aquaculture (SWG Fish); agricultural knowledge and innovation systems (SWG AKIS); sustainable production of bio-resources (SWG Bioeconomy); forestry research and innovation (SWG Forest), and the greater impact of European Agricultural Research on global challenges (SWG ARCH). SCAR Collaborative Working Groups have been an important coordination mechanism since 2005. These groups address matters of common interest in a specific area of research, with a view to initiating collaboration between research funding organisations. Many CWGs have evolved into ERA-NETs.
More information on SCAR and its Strategic, and Collaborative Working Groups can be found on the SCAR website.
One of SCAR’s main activities is horizon scanning and foresight. The SCAR Foresight Group oversees the execution of relevant studies, once this has been agreed at the SCAR plenary meeting. The recent Fourth Foresight Expert Group (FEG4) developed an interesting report on the current state of the European bioeconomy and principles leading to a sustainable bioeconomy.
More information about SCAR's Foresight Exercises can be found on the SCAR website (under "Developing a strong Foresight process").
Coordination and support action CASA
From 2016 to 2019, SCAR has been supported through a coordination and support action (CSA) named CASA. More information on the initiative and the outcomes of SCAR it has supported at this page.