Research and other programs

MOSQUITO VISION

Digital application for mosquito nuisance prediction.

The Mosquito Vision application will provide a reliable five-day forecast of mosquito nuisance to residents, tourism professionals and visitors for the 1,040 settlements of the Region of Central Macedonia. At the same time, it is a useful tool for health professionals and mosquito control projects for both operational analysis and optimization of decision making.

Duration: 24 months

2021 – 2023

Mosquito Vision

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Cooperating Agencies:

    1. Ecodevelopment S.A.
    2. Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, School of Geology, Department of Meteorology and Climatology

Short description

The main scope of the “MOSQUITO VISION” project concerns three main axes::

  1. The extension and optimization of three digital products of Ecodevelopment, namely “Water Vision” (surface water assessment algorithm), Bad (mosquito mite abundance prediction model) and “Mosquito Vision” (mosquito nuisance prediction model)
  2. The improvement of meteorological forecasts by the Department of Climatology and Meteorology of the Department of Geology of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki to ensure reliable and highly accurate forecasts in the Region of Central Macedonia
  3. The construction and operation of a platform for the systematic provision and visualization of the above products in combination with environmental indicators for three General Directorates of the Region of Central Macedonia (Public Health, Civil Protection and Technical Works)

The Mosquito Vision application will provide a reliable five-day forecast of mosquito nuisance to residents, tourism professionals and visitors for the 1,040 settlements of the Region of Central Macedonia. At the same time, it is a useful tool for health professionals and mosquito control projects for both operational analysis and optimization of decision making.
The production and collection of primary data from 2010 to date and the running of the mosquito abundance forecast model on which the application is based is the responsibility of Ecodevelopment. The Department of Meteorology and Climatology of the Department of Geology of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki is responsible for the production of daily five-day meteorological forecasts at a spatial resolution of 2x2km for the entire Region of Central Macedonia (which includes the completion of the existing network of meteorological stations with 10 new stations).
In the framework of the project a platform will be created for the collection and sharing of the above information and forecasts among the three above mentioned services of the Region of Central Macedonia and/or other potential users. The constant feeding of the platform with environmental and meteorological data and corresponding forecasts in an environment for a simple desktop PC will allow users to have the possibility to organise data, calculations, simple data analysis, visualisation and extraction of specific results.

Project implementation period

06/2021 – 06/2023 (24 months)

Financing framework:

Special Management Service, Axis 01 of the OP Region of Central Macedonia 2014-2020

Specific objective 1b1: ‘Promote investments for the development of products and services in the priority sectors of the Smart Specialisation Strategy (RIS3)’.

EYWA System

The EYWA system is a proposal within the frame of the EIC Horizon Prize “Early Warning for epidemics” which was proclaimed in early 2018. 

The consortium of the EYWA system consists of 15 research institutions and public and private vector control operators from five European countries, namely Greece, Italy, France, Germany and Serbia under the coordination of the Athens Observatory and with core partners Ecodevelopment SA and the University of Patras

Duration: 24 months

2020 – 2021

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Cooperating Agencies
Από Greece:

1. National Observatory of Athens (NOA) – BEYOND Centre of EO Research & Satellite Remote Sensing,
2. Ecodevelopment S.A
3. Dimitrios Vallianatos (I.D.Com)
4. University of Patras – Physics Department – Laboratory of Atmospheric Physics (LapUP)
5. Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
6. University of Thessaly, Medical School. Laboratory of Hygiene and Epidemiology
From Serbia:
1. University of “Novi Sad” Faculty of Agriculture
2. University of Novi Sad, Faculty of Medicine
3. Scientific Veterinary Institute “Novi Sad” (NIV)
From Germany:
1. German Mosquito Control Association (KABS)
2. Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine
From France:
EID Méditerranée
From Italy:
1. Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale delle Venezie (IZSVe)
2. Edmund Mach Foundation
3. University of Trento

Short description:

To address the key points of an Early warning system for epidemics, the consortium has developed the EYWA system (EarlY WArning System for Vector-borne diseases), a suite of analytical and predictive tools based on a plethora of environmental, Earth-observation, entomological and epidemiological data from the countries most affected through the last decade by West Nile Virus (WNV) and/or other vector-borne diseases.
More precisely there are four core predictive models that address abundances of potential vectors on the one hand and risk for potential transmission of WNV on the other hand
1.Mosquito abundance predictions:
a.NOA – data driven models for Culex spp. and Anopheles spp. (weekly predictions for monitoring sites in Italy and France)
b.BAd – data driven model for Culex spp. (daily on a settlement level for 4 regions in Greece)
2.WNV transmission risk predictions:
a.Mimesis – dynamic model (monthly on a municipality level for 4 regions in Greece and Veneto region in Italy)
b.BAR – data driven model (weekly on a settlement level for Central Macedonia, Greece)
Besides the above core predictive models, three geostatistical tools (rural zoning, urban zoning and surface water detection) and one community tool (smartphone application for mosquito nuisance prediction) have been developed which are applicable depending on the availability of open source / entomological / epidemiological data. Furthermore, an interactive platform was developed (with distinctive access limitations according to the function of end-users) to display the 10 years’ data from the five participating countries (EO, environmental, entomological, and epidemiological), and offers various parametrization possibilities for the extraction of specific user-orientated information.
Extensions to other potential vectors (Anopheles spp. and Ae. albopictus) are being developed actually and will be included in the next phase of operational functioning of the EYWA system in 2021.

More information 

Research project EWSMD

Installation of an “Early Warning System for Mosquito-borne Diseases” and implementation of new tools to fight vector-borne diseases in urban environments – EWSMD (Early Warning System for Mosquito-borne Diseases) 

Duration: 36 months

2018 – 2021

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Cooperating agencies

  1. Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine (BNITM)
  2. Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Mückenbekämpfung e.V. (German Mosquito Control Association / Institute for Dipterology (GFS/IfD)
  3. Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTH), Medical School, Α’ Department of Microbiology and School of Geology, Department of Meteorology and Climatology
  4. Ecodevelopment S.A.

Short description: the project makes use of the available entomological, epidemiological, climatological and geographical data from Germany and Greece as well as those having been produced during 2019-2020 by the above mentioned collaborating institutions. These organisations have many years of experience and specialised expertise in the field of pathogen detection and control of human disease transmitting insects in Europe. The aim is to develop and operate a common Early Warning System for mosquito-borne diseases, which is implemented and evaluated in both countries.

Particularly essential is the exchange of know-how and expertise between the two major research institutes in the field of virology (BNITM, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki) and their exploitation by two of the most important mosquito control operators in Europe (GFS/IfD – KABS and Ecodevelopment SA) with a view to implementation at operational level.

The individual objectives of the project are:

    1. Connection of major European actors in virus detection (BNITM, AUTH) and mosquito surveillance and control (GFS/Ifd, Ecodev) from Germany and Greece
    2. Meta-analysis of the epidemiological data resulting from the significant West Nile virus epidemic that occurred in Northern Greece since 2010 in order to prepare both Germany and Greece accordingly with regard to West Nile virus and other arboviruses.
    3. Identification of high-risk areas and identification of critical time intervals of West Nile virus and Usutu virus (USUV) circulation after modelling based on entomological (BNITM, GFS/IfD, Ecodevelopment) and epidemiological data (BNITM, A.P.TH.) already produced by the above mentioned institutions in previous years and to be produced in 2018 and 2019.
    4. Definition of good practices and evaluation of innovative tools and methods for the control of Culex pipiens and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes in the urban environment, which are the most important vectors of existing diseases (USUV in Germany and West Nile Virus in Greece) and/or other diseases threatening both countries (West Nile Virus in Germany, Dengue, Chikungunya and Zika in both countries)
    5. Create, update and make available to all interested public health institutions and/or other organizations in the two countries, a functional WebGIS application, where users will be able to view, explore, query and display the periodic risk maps of the Early Warning System for mosquito-borne diseases.

Period of project implementation:

05/2018 – 05/2021 (36 months)

Funding Framework:

Bilateral cooperation in research and innovation, 2016″, General Secretariat for Research and Technology (GSRT), the Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs of the Hellenic Republic and the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF).

Research Project WaMoS

“Remote sensing surface water monitoring for the rational use of insecticide formulations in large-scale mosquito control projects” – WaMoS

Duration: 42 months

2018 – 2021

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Cooperating agencies 

  1. Ecodevelopment S.A.
  2. Faculty of Agriculture Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTH)

Short description: the objective of the research project is to create an easy-to-use service for the monitoring of hydrological and quality characteristics of surface waters, based on the capabilities offered by satellite remote sensing with emphasis on radar (SAR), which will contribute to the optimisation of larvicidal applications on surface waters in mosquito control projects, with the ultimate aim of a more rational use of insecticide formulations on surface waters.

The methodology includes remote sensing and digital image processing techniques developed by the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and applied by Ecodevelopment SA, to improve the operational conditions of mosquito control projects and reduce spraying on water surfaces, using new technologies and available and relatively easy-to-use satellite data. The methods developed contribute to the mapping of aquatic mosquito habitat, capitalising on the high spatial resolution and dense monitoring step capabilities offered by the new European Sentinel satellites. The intended features are:

  • Periodicity: Maps of potential mosquito breeding hotspots are consistently available with a 5-day step. The time step of availability is determined by the periodicity that characterises the simultaneous use of Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2 data (www.esa.int, European Space Agency).
  • Clarity: the maps distinguish flooded areas with vegetation cover from those where vegetation cover is absent and the results are compared with the ecological mapping and typology of mosquito breeding sites carried out by Ecodevelopment in > 50% of the country’s wetlands (Ecodevelopment S.A., 2012)
  • Accuracy: The maps include all potential wetlands (even those that, based on the spatial resolution offered by Sentinel data (10 m), have smaller areas than 100 square meters).

The experimental design of the methodology includes the following:

  • Use of at least 100 field data points for each classification class. Of these, 70% are used to train the automatic algorithm and 30% to evaluate its accuracy.
  • Water quality field measurements (temperature, oxygen content, electrical conductivity, pH).
  • Use of available field data (water availability, habitats, larval density, etc.) available in the Ecodevelopment archive for the last 3 years, in order to enhance the reliability of the algorithms under different hydrological and meteorological conditions.
  • Obtain new satellite imagery and field data for 2018 and 2019 to validate the methodology and the prototype tool.

Period of project implementation

06/2018 – 12/2021

Financing framework:

Special Service for Management and Implementation of Actions in the fields of Research, Technological Development and Innovation (ΕΥΔΕ ΕΤΑΚ), NSRF (National Strategic Reference Framework) 2014-2020, “Research-Create-Innovate”, General Secretariat for Research and Technology

 

Research Project EMPROS

Advanced Earth Observation and Information Technologies for the Early Study and Warning of Transmitted Diseases via Mosquitoes. Advanced Earth Observation and Information Technology Techniques for Early Investigation/ Analysis and Warning of Mosquito-Borne Diseases – EMPROS

Duration: 30 months

2020 – 2023

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Cooperating agencies

    1. National Observatory of Athens – BEYOND Center of Excellence, Dr. Kontoes, Coordinator
    2. Ecodevelopment S.A. Dr. Spiros Mourelatos
    3. University of Patras, Physics Department, Laboratory of Atmospheric Physics, Ass. Prof. Kioutsioukis
    4. University of Thessaly, Medical School, Laboratory of Hygiene and Epidemiology, Prof. Hadjichristodoulou

     

    Subcontractors:

    1. Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTH), Medical School, Α’ Department of Microbiology, Prof. Anna Papa-Konidari
    2. AUTH, School of Veterinary Medicine, Diagnostic Laboratory, Ass. Prof. Chrysostomos Dovas

     

    Short description:

    The central idea of the EMPROS project is to develop an integrated epidemiological surveillance and early warning system for West Nile Virus (WNV) using Earth Observation data from new generation satellites and advanced information technologies.

    The integrated system aims to exploit heterogeneous data (observatory data – large satellite data, epidemiological, entomological, ornithological), and ensembles of dynamic and statistical models to systematically capture and retrieve important standardised information as well as to provide early warning for the support in mosquito control decision making. The innovative and interdisciplinary nature of the EMPROS project aims at broadening services and products, both at the operational and scientific level, to support the health sector. In addition, innovative techniques for big data analysis will offer significant advantages of transferability and scalability to large geographical areas and to areas with different geographical location and morphology.

    The main objectives of the project are:

    1. The development of a web-based platform for epidemiological, entomological & ornithological surveillance, documentation of data in a standardised format and visualisation of results.
    2. The establishment of an epidemiological, entomological & ornithological observatory in Greece, through the systematic collection, recording, evaluation, standardization and longitudinal analysis of data in time and space.
    3. The development of an Epidemiological Surveillance and Early Warning System using prediction models (dynamic, statistical & artificial intelligence), based on the use of environmental parameters systematically collected from large satellite data of high spatial resolution, as well as ground-based observation systems, and recorded data on mosquitoes, birds and human cases.
    4. Strengthen surveillance and response to WNV with innovative services/analyses/models.
    5. Improve response to haemovigilance.
    6. Improve response time and mosquito control with guided control actions.
    7. Production/availability of data binding from European directives.
    8. Awareness raising of stakeholders at national level on the risk of WNV and its spreading dynamics
    9. Creation of permanent observation from the longitudinal collection, analysis and standardisation of heterogeneous data.
    10. Development of new trend detection models through historical data and case analysis.
    11. Optimize placement and deployment of biological material collection traps.
    12. Development of early warning using a combination of heterogeneous models.
    13. Web-based input, search, retrieval of heterogeneous data & results.
    14. Automation & optimization of processes for generating/ updating epidemiological results (prediction, early warning).
    15. Optimization of the use of technologies for managing large & heterogeneous data (Data Cubes).
    16. Optimising the management of integrated vector control projects.
    17. Reduction of cost – time of trap installation.
    18. Promotion/ penetration of the system in other countries. Commercialisation of the system through demonstration of pilot results.

     

    Project implementation period:                                          

    07/2020 – 01/2023

     

    Financing framework:

    Special Service for Management and Implementation of Actions in the fields of Research, Technological Development and Innovation (ΕΥΔΕ ΕΤΑΚ), NSRF (National Strategic Reference Framework) 2014-2020, “Research-Create-Innovate”, General Secretariat for Research and Technology

Research project CheRemote

Application of remote sensing in cherry cultivation for harvesting fruit of high antioxidant capacity and optimizing the management of insect infestations by Rhagoletis cerasi and Drosophila suzukii

Duration: 36 months

2018 – 2021

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Cooperating agencies

  • Ecodevelopment S.A.
  • AgroEcoSystem Corp.
  • Novagreen S.A.
  • University of Thessaly

Short description:

Combining remote sensing, agronomic and laboratory methods, the project aims to:

  • Identify in time zones, plots, and/or clusters of trees entering the maturity phase, so that plant protection can be applied in a timely and targeted manner.
  • Identify in time zones, parcels, and/or clusters of trees with fruits at the optimum antioxidant content, in order to optimise harvest management and high value-added products.

The project is being carried out on 500 hectares of cherry orchards located in the municipality of Edessa (Pella), where 55% of the country’s cherry trees are grown. The plots are representative of the varieties and cultivation practices of the region.
The photographic-topographic as well as multi-spectral data (from unmanned volatile media) are entered into a geodatabase (GIS) in which cultivation, soil, climatological and entomological data will be integrated, as well as fruit ripening parameters such as abscisic acid, carotenoids and polyphenols total soluble solids, hardness and flesh acidity, but also antioxidant capacity.
The results are analysed using modern methods of geospatial analysis in order to form relatively homogeneous management zones at different scales (areas, plots, varieties and trees), from which the final ripening zones will be formed.
The first findings of the project are very encouraging and have been published in an international peer-reviewed journal https://www.mdpi.com/2076-3921/9/2/156

WebGIS:

https://tsexa7.maps.arcgis.com/apps/MapJournal/index.html?appid=d07dc4fcf5f941a3b1ed806d06dbd424

Project implementation period:

06/2018 – 06/2021

Financing framework:

The project is funded under the State Aid Action for Research, Technological Development & Innovation (Research – Create – Innovate).

OPORA RESEARCH PROJECT

“Development of a model precision agriculture service for olive cultivation”

Duration: 30 months

2019 – 2021

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Cooperating agencies:

    1. Ecodevelopment S.A.
    2. University of Patras, Laboratory of Soil Science of the Department of Agriculture

The project includes research and actions on 6000 hectares of olive groves in the region of Western Greece. In addition to the research, in the areas of Ilia and Aitroacarnania, with the participation of selected producers, actions in the fields of olive oil production and olive trees’ management that are performed comprise:

  • Placement and systematic monitoring of a dense network of dowel traps
  • Monitoring of fertilization, irrigation and plant protection, based on the soil-climatic and agronomic classification of the olive groves.
  • Satellite data downloads, drone flights, and placement of ground sensors 
  • Collection and analysis of soil and foliar diagnostic data
  • Measurement of quality indicators and organoleptic characteristics of the fruit

In the framework of the project, 135 producers’ parcels were digitised. For the research needs of the project, preliminary management zones were established and corresponding questionnaires were completed to record farming practices. In addition, 200 dowel traps were placed and monitored on a 5-day basis, 200 soil samples were taken for fertilizer advice and numerous leaf diagnostic, yield, and polyphenol content measurement samples were taken.
Preliminary results highlight significant individual pathogenicity and nutrient problems per plot that are indicative of soil depletion. Significant variations were also recorded in both yield and polyphenolic content of the olive fruit, both within and between plots. In addition, significant correlations were found between the aforementioned yield and quality characteristics and soil characteristics and irrigation. The latter fact suggests that appropriate management practices can lead to the optimal combination of yield and quality according to the producer’s objectives, which is the aim of the Opora programme.
Based on the soil analyses, targeted recommendations for improving fertilisation practices per producer were made.

Project implementation period:                                                

04/2019 – 12/2021

 

Financing framework:

The project was funded by the Operational Programme of the Region of Western Greece 2014-2020 and is part of the RIS3 Programme – smart specialization, Agri-food.
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