The research supported by the FSVO is regarded as governmental research. The Office and the enforcement authorities need the results it generates to fulfil their tasks, and the results are in the public interest. The FSVO’s governmental research is networked with the research carried out by the Federal Administration and is based on the five main principles of legality, utility, efficacy, cost-effectiveness and compliance with scientific quality standards. The main areas of research pursued by the FSVO are determined by the scope of the Office’s tasks and influence. They are linked to agricultural and public health research where the respective interfaces exist.
The FSVO performs governmental research in the areas of food safety, utility articles, nutrition, animal health, zoonoses, animal welfare and species conservation in international trade. The knowledge gained from the research projects provides the scientific basis for answers to important questions that arise in the practical setting or for identifying approaches and further options for implementation. The cost-effectiveness and efficacy of the research projects are reviewed periodically. Not only implementation-oriented applied research is supported; projects that involve close collaboration between basic and applied research are also funded.
The aim of the FSOV in supporting research is to identify major research questions proactively and at as early a stage as possible, to work on them and to find sustainable solutions that create a basis for action in the future. This involves targeted networking of the authorities and the scientific community and research collaboration spanning more than one authority. At the same time, in the 2012–2016 reporting period extensive use was made of the opportunities offered by international research partnerships and networks, particularly in the areas of animal health and welfare. This enabled the experts’ knowledge to be combined optimally, providing additional benefit for all the countries involved.