This Summary Report describes the approach and collaborative process adopted by the Science Council to help develop a cohesive research programme with well-defined priorities for the CGIAR, as well as an outline of the process to date. The priority areas for research respond to the continuing challenge of maintaining sustainable food production systems, and the new agricultural paradigms encouraging competitiveness, and addressing the situation of the poor in marginal lands. The Science Council considers that the reviews undertaken of the current emphases in CGIAR research, the establishment of the future context and the widely participatory process followed for establishing potential new areas for research, provide the basis for the next steps - the establishment of overall CGIAR System Priorities for the period to 2010. The Summary Report further defines the subsequent activities to be undertaken, and a proposed schedule, through which new CGIAR System Priorities for research may be developed. The Science Council’s intention is to link the establishment of priorities (and future priority setting) to the monitoring and evaluation functions, vital for the efficient conduct of agricultural science and to meet the goals of the CGIAR and its global partners. This document was discussed at the CGIAR Business Meeting at AGM 2004.