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Providing scientific evidence to inform policymaking, especially at European level, is an important part of our work. In 2015, the European Commission (EC) set up a new Scientific Advice Mechanism (SAM) to support the Commission with high-quality, timely and independent scientific advice for policymaking.  SAM is formed by the Group of Chief Scientific Advisors (GCSA), the SAPEA consortium (Science Advice for Policy by European Academies) and a dedicated Unit staffed by the EC’s Research and Innovation and Joint Research Centre Directorates General.

AE is a member of the SAPEA consortium, together with the European academies ALLEA, EASAC, Euro-CASE and FEAM. SAPEA produces independent evidence review reports that are used by the Group of Chief Scientific Advisors to make policy recommendations to the EC.  This transparent process ensures that the EC’s proposals for policy and legislation are well-informed.

Scientific Advice Mechanism

Our work in SAPEA

The Cardiff Hub was given responsibility for most of the management and delivery of the SAPEA work on behalf of AE, and is the lead coordinator of two projects to date: Food from the oceans and Making sense of science for policy.

SAPEA Evidence Review process
SAPEA Evidence Review process within the European Scientific Advice Mechanism (SAM). Source: SAM website

We also oversee the work of the Cardiff University Libraries, which has responsibility for systematic reviews within SAPEA, and run plagiarism checks of the SAPEA reports. Besides, we coordinate the AE nominations to the working groups set up by SAPEA for the production of evidence review reports.

‘Food from the Oceans’ Evidence Review

SAPEA’s first project, Food from the Oceans, was coordinated by the Cardiff Hub. The evidence review report was handed over to the European Commission on 29th November 2017 in Brussels.

The Cardiff Hub set up and continue to run a successful marketing and communications campaign to support the publication of the SAPEA Evidence Review Report, in cooperation with the SAM Unit and DG MARE.

Read more on Food from the Oceans.

‘Making sense of science for policy’ Evidence Review

On their own initiative, the Group of Chief Scientific Advisors, adopted a scoping paper in February 2018 confirming their intention to produce a Scientific Opinion on Making sense of science for policy under conditions of complexity and uncertainty.

The Cardiff Hub coordinated the evidence review report, which was published in July 2019, and is currently working on its dissemination.

ead more on Making Sense of Science for Policy.

‘Sustainable Food Systems’ Evidence Review

Academia Europaea is collaborating with ALLEA in the production of the new evidence review Towards an EU sustainable food system, which will answer to the question What are workable paths to deliver an inclusive, just and timely transition to an EU sustainable food system, where possible delivering benefits for health, the environment, and socio-economic aspects?.

The Cardiff Hub is leading the systematic review for the project and has put together an advisory group. A substantial part of the work will be carried out by the Cardiff University Libraries and the Specialist Unit for Review Evidence (SURE).

The report is expected to be published in spring 2020.

Sustainable Food System promotional material
Sustainable Food System promotional material

Read more on Sustainable food system.

Work on Academies’ interaction

One of the roles of SAPEA is to strengthen the relationship among Academies in Europe, and to share best practices, experiences and approaches that would be beneficial for the interaction with policymakers and for science advice for policy in general. The Cardiff Hub took part in two workshops on ‘Best Practices of Interaction between Academies and with Policymakers’ organised in Madrid (September 2017) and Bucharest (October 2017).