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Science Council certifies BfR's reliable research

27/2019, 26.07.2019

Report on the the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) published

The Science Council attested to the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment's (BfR's) numerous achievements in the scientific work. In their report for example, they highlighted the prioritisation of research, excellent knowledge transfer and increased third-party funding. The committee had already assessed the BfR in 2015 and commended it as one of the leading institutions in scientific risk assessment. The current statement of the Science Council affirmed that many of the recommendations that were given at the time were taken on board. "The renewed, very positive assessment confirms that with our strategies we are on the right track for scientific risk assessment for political consultation and risk communication," said BfR President, Professor Dr. Dr. Andreas Hensel.

In the report, the Science Council appreciated that the BfR specified its research focuses with four further junior groups, thereby concentrating research funding and strengthening the importance of the research. With the introduction of study centres, the BfR has found an instrument to optimise research planning. The committee also assessed the increased amount of third-party funding to be positive. In light of this, the report recognises the targeted and effective advice given by BfR’s Research Coordination Unit.

The committee attested to the Federal Institute’s exemplary training for authorities and bodies on a national and international level. The transfer of research results in practice was also very good. In light of this, the National Reference Laboratories operating at BfR and their application-oriented development of methods are also mentioned.

It is further stated that the BfR’s publication strategy increasingly processes and publishes scientific content for various target groups. The Science Council emphasises that the "BfR Academy" has a thorough understanding for interactive risk communication. This was observed at the Academy events. Equally, the experts determined that the Federal Institute also successfully used new media - for example Instagram and Twitter - as channels of communication. These are important steps for the modernisation of risk communication. The Council advised to strengthen the personnel working on the current, socio-scientific risk research, thereby intensifying it.

The Science Council evaluated the BfR in 2015 upon the request of the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL), when the committee attested that the Federal Institute was making a significant contribution to health consumer protection in the Federal Republic. It further stated that the Institute advises on policies to a high standard and on a very sound scientific basis. Due to its strong performance, the BfR has established itself as one of the leading institutions in science-based risk assessment on a European and international level.

The BfR was assessed by the Science Council for the first time in 2006. The Science Council advises the Federal Government and the Federal States' Governments on questions concerning the content and structural development of universities, science and research.

About the BfR

The German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) is a scientifically independent institution within the portfolio of the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) in Germany. It advises the Federal Government and Federal Laender on questions of food, chemical and product safety. The BfR conducts its own research on topics that are closely linked to its assessment tasks.

This text version is a translation of the original German text which is the only legally binding version.

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