Directorate-General for Research and Innovation: SCAR



The FRAMEWORK CONTRACT FOR SERVICES - Strategic analysis and support for enhanced research cooperation in agriculture and food is a project that is setting up the ‘SCAR Support Team’. It supports the Standing Committee on Agricultural Research (SCAR) to enhance research cooperation in agriculture and food within its different Strategic or Collaborative Working Groups (SWG/CWG). The European Commission is the Contracting Authority through DG Research and Innovation.

The Consortium consists of 8 European partners including Ghent University as leading partner.

The contract runs from 15 January 2022 to 14 July 2023.

Project description

What is the SCAR?

The Green Deal has put Europe in a favourable position to be a ground breaker in the transition to sustainable agriculture, forestry, and food systems. European research and innovation (R&I) in these areas play a key role in accelerating the European Green Deal agenda.

  • SCAR advises the European Commission (EC), EU Member States and Associated Countries on R&I priorities to address Europe’s challenges in agriculture, fisheries, food systems, forestry, and the wider bioeconomy.
  • SCAR co-creates impactful R&I strategies, working closely with the European Commission.
  • SCAR inspires R&I through foresight studies and by providing recommendations.
  • SCAR strengthens the European Research Area. It is a key platform for co-creating five Horizon Europe Partnerships: ambitious instruments that align EU and national R&I agendas to achieve actionable results in key Green Deal priority areas.

The SCAR Working Groups form an inspiring network of motivated peers. They offer unique platforms to develop R&I agendas, co-construct European R&I partnerships, and exchange experiences and best practices. Moreover, being a member of the SCAR helps delegates and scientists implement national research priorities at the European level, and helps align national and European R&I agendas.

Become active in the SCAR community

Support Work

In this context, the SCAR Support Team is open-minded, flexible and solution-oriented to accommodate new ideas and challenges. Working closely with the SCAR Working Groups (WGs) chairs and co-chairs, we listen to everyone in the room, engage with people in a diplomatic manner and act in the best interest of the group.

The SCAR Support Team is a serving instrument for all existing and future WGs, facilitating collaboration among their members and helping to achieve better results through improved co-creation and cross-fertilization, encouraging synergies between the Member States and helping the WGs achieve greater impact and efficiency in future funding activities.

During the contract, the SCAR Support Team makes a portfolio analysis of research and innovation projects related to the WGs. Furthermore, each WG has the assistance of a Thematic Support Team to support the WG organisation and meetings.

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Meet the team

Management Team
Lead partner Project management
Process and methodology expert / facilitator
Management Support Didescu Consulting, Ambar Consultancy, ARC Process and methodology expert / facilitator
Communication Support WETA Communication & event support
SCAR Agroecology strategic WG ARC Thematic Support Team
SCAR Animal Health and Welfare strategic WG USAMV Cluj Thematic Support Team
SCAR Agricultural knowledge and innovation systems collaborative WG UGent Thematic Support Team
SCAR European agricultural research towards greater impact on global challenges strategic WG (ARCH) USC Thematic Support Team
SCAR Bioeconomy strategic WG USAMV Cluj Thematic Support Team
SCAR Fisheries and aquaculture research strategic WG USC Thematic Support Team
SCAR Forest and forestry research and innovation strategic WG UGent Thematic Support Team
SCAR Food systems strategic WG UNIFI Thematic Support Team
SCAR Sustainable animal production collaborative WG USC Thematic Support Team

Partner information


  • Universiteit Gent
  • Universidade de Santiago de Compostela
  • Universitatea de Stiinte Agricole si Medicina Veterinara Cluj Napoca
  • Università degli Studi di Firenze

Research Institutes

  • Põllumajandusuuringute Keskus – ARC (Agricultural Research Centre)

Small & Medium Enterprises

  • DIDICESCU Consulting
    • Process and methodology expert / facilitator

DIDICESCU Consulting’s single expert Mr. Sergiu Didicescu (Romanian nationality) has been fully involved in the EIP-AGRI Service Point project as farm practice officer, since 2013. Through specific networking activities, Mr. Didicescu actively supported the implementation of the EIP-AGRI in Rural Development Programmes, identifying common issues, problems and good practices, facilitating networking between EIP-AGRI Operational Groups and cooperating with the National Rural Networks to support innovation. He has first-hand experience as task manager and facilitator of EIP-AGRI Focus Groups, workshops and seminars, including for those events organised in online format. Before 2013 Mr. Didicescu built up expertise within the Rural Development Managing Authority of Romania, including a fouryear period of secondment to the European Commission. During his secondment period, he accumulated expertise in programming rural development measures such as agri-environment, support for Natura 2000 and less favoured areas as well as the EIP-AGRI

  • AMBAR Consultancy
    • Process and methodology expert / facilitator

AMBAR Consultancy’s single expert Margarida Ambar (Portuguese nationality) has worked full time for the EIP-AGRI Service Point as a rural development officer, from 2013 to 2021. She has supported the implementation of the EIP-AGRI, identifying relevant projects and good practices, fostering networking between different types of projects, and collaboration among stakeholders at EU, national and regional levels. Ms. Ambar has developed an extensive experience organising EIP-AGRI events, in live and virtual formats. She is also an experienced facilitator, with strong competencies in process design and clear communication skills, building and working with a relevant facilitation toolkit. She has been involved in international knowledge exchange networks for close to 15 years.

Communication agency


The support given to the European Commission within this contract targets the following 4 objectives:

  1. An enhanced collaboration between Member States, Associated and Candidate Countries and the European Commission in the area of agricultural research, the bioeconomy and food systems through the different SCAR Working Groups.
  2. An improved quality of results of SCAR due to increasing quality input from its current and future Working Groups for greater impact at European and national level.
  3. The delivery of more strategic and timely policy advice by the SCAR Working Groups for agricultural research, the bioeconomy and food systems in light of the increasing Member States R&I collaboration, EU political priorities also in challenging changing and critical circumstances like climate change, unsecure food chains, droughts, floods, pests, pandemics, etc.
  4. Improved overall facilitation, organisation, communication and dissemination of SCAR Working Groups activities, and their results for greater impact at European and national levels.

The SCAR Support Team has three tasks:

  • Portfolio Analysis of research and innovation projects at national, regional and EU levels related to the Working Groups
  • Support the different SCAR Working Groups: a thematic support team supports every WG
    • Support the organisation of all WG meetings
    • Communication and support tasks to the different WGs
  • Organisation of national SCAR conferences

Role of Ghent University

Ghent University is the lead partner of the consortium and coordinates all provided support as project manager.



Prof. Pieter Spanoghe
Faculty of Bioscience Engineering
Department of Plants and Crops
Phone number: +32 9 264 60 10

Véronique Rebholtz
Project Manager
Phone number: +32 483 36 38 62

Funding info

vlag plat funded by the eu.JPG

Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Commission. Neither the European Union nor the authority can be held responsible for them.