The project is built upon a framework of 5 interconnected work packages and 18 tasks, led by partners from academia and the private sector. This comprehensive approach enables the INOVEC consortium to advance vector control strategies, promote citizen science approaches, and contribute to the ongoing evolution of vector-borne disease risk modeling. The team of social sciences experts brings innovative perspectives and a deep understanding of local vector control needs to the project, ensuring that INOVEC’s solutions are effective and socially responsible.
In addition to research endeavors, the consortium is committed to producing educational materials and organizing advanced training workshops and conferences. These activities aim to bridge research gaps, enhance partner capacities in medical entomology, and facilitate the proper exploitation and dissemination of results to the scientific community and stakeholders.
Presentation of Work package activities and outputs
WP1: Integrated Monitoring & Surveillance
WP1 is dedicated to the development of advanced entomological surveillance, diagnostic tools (DTs) and communication technologies (CTs) for monitoring mosquito population dynamics and transmission risks. The focus lies on key research areas, including deep learning and imaging technologies, DNA-based DTs for tracking infections and insecticide resistance tracking, intelligent traps for real-time monitoring, and community-based surveillance methods with geoinformatics tools. The primary objective of WP1 is to drive innovation, strengthen research capacity, and accelerate market access for new DTs and CTs in vector surveillance.
Leader: John Vontas, Director of the Institute of Molecular Biology & Biotechnology at the Foundation for Research and Technology, Hellas (IMBB-FORTH)
WP2: Targeted Interventions
WP2 aims to develop environmentally friendly tools for controlling Aedes vectors resistant to public health insecticides. This involves evaluating new and repurposing existing insecticides and repellents, as well as developing RNAi-based technologies to inhibit gene expression in mosquitoes. Improving mass trapping devices and standardizing automated techniques for the Sterile Insect Techniques are also key objectives. Through collaborative research and innovation efforts, WP2 spans diverse environments and trials across Europe, sub-Saharan Africa, and Latin America. The exchange of knowledge among academia, industry, and the IAEA creates opportunities to tackle the public health threat posed by Aedes mosquitoes.
Leader: Pie Müller (SWISS-TPH)
WP3: Social Sciences
WP3 aims to foster collaboration among experts in entomology, social sciences, policy-making, and development to create effective models of communication and education tailored to local needs. The objective is to bridge the gap between mosquito control specialists, the private sector, and communities, enhancing community engagement in the surveillance and control of emerging mosquito-borne diseases in Europe, Africa, and Brazil. Through a comprehensive understanding of diverse local practices, the sustainability of citizen science programs will be improved, and dialogue and acceptance of innovative vector control interventions will be promoted. Field trials utilizing social-scientific methods will evaluate new tools, while models of community mobilization will be developed, considering cultural, political, and regulatory contexts, for robust interventions against Aedes-borne diseases.
Leader: Florence Fournet, Medical entomologist interested in vector borne diseases in urban settings at IRD
WP4: Advanced in Training & Education
WP4 aims to enhance the capacity of consortium members in vector control, molecular biology, biotechnology, social sciences, and modeling. The approach involves organizing international workshops, developing digital educational materials, and creating a board game for widespread access to knowledge. Collaboration with key stakeholders, including pesticide manufacturers, agencies, organizations, universities, and research institutions, will be facilitated through biennial international conferences with the goal of raising awareness, mobilizing resources, stimulating research, and advocating for effective vector control policies. WP4 promotes the acquisition of new knowledge and skills in vector surveillance and control, facilitating career development for individuals from diverse backgrounds across Africa, Brazil, and Europe.
Leader: João Pinto, Assistant Professor of the Medical Parasitology Unit at IHMT/UNL
WP5 serves as the central hub for managing and coordinating every aspect of the project. It oversees research activities, training initiatives, administrative tasks, intellectual property rights (IPR), ethical considerations, legal matters, and financial affairs. Additionally, it tracks key statistics related to secondments, including their number, duration, gender distribution, and environmental impacts such as the CO2 footprint from flights or trains.
Leader: Anne Poinsignon (IRD), research scientist at the French National Research Institute for Sustainable Development (IRD).