EIC Horizon Prize on early warning for epidemics: Commission awards €5 million to winning project

Source(s)
European Commission
This image shows a mosquito sitting on human skin.
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The winner of the €5 million EIC Horizon Prize on Early Warning for Epidemics is Greece-based project EarlY WArning System for Mosquito-borne Diseases (EYWA).

Every year, more than 1 billion people suffer from vector-borne diseases such as malaria, dengue, or yellow fever. To help prevent and mitigate the impact of such outbreaks, the European Commission launched a prize to reward the best Earth observation-based prototype to forecast and monitor vector-borne diseases.

Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, said: 

My sincere congratulations to EYWA – the winner of the EIC Horizon Prize on Early Warning for Epidemics. The solution, based on Earth observation and other data, improves Europe’s preparedness to fight vector-borne diseases, also addressing the effects of climate change on human health, at home and abroad. A special mention goes to the other two finalists of this important prize, D-MOSS and FARSEER, for their outstanding work. I am both proud and grateful that European excellence has demonstrated once again to be capable of providing solutions to global challenges.

EYWA is a key weapon in the arsenal to fight epidemics. It transforms scientific knowledge into a decision-making tool, contributing significantly to combatting and controlling the threat of mosquito-borne diseases. The solution enhances mosquito surveillance and control at various spatio-temporal scales and in different climatic zones, and guides day to day prevention and mitigation actions. It significantly reduces the entomological risk and results in the aversion of human cases in thousands of villages where EYWA is employed. 

The technological novelty of EYWA lies in the efficient handling of multiple data sources such as entomological, epidemiological, Earth Observation, crowd and ancillary geospatial data, along with dynamic and data driven models to generate knowledge on the mosquitoes’ abundance and pathogens’ transmission. Thanks to data provided by Copernicus satellites and Copernicus Core Services, EYWA reliably depicts the dynamics of mosquito habitats and breeding sites. The system capitalises on European investments in Earth observation and cloud-based data repositories and capacities (i.e. DIAS, GEOSS, NextGEOSS).

Background

Under its pilot version, the European Innovation Council (EIC) promoted several Horizon Prizes to be awarded to the most innovative solutions to societal challenges. These prizes call for breakthrough solutions that demonstrate their feasibility or potential, so that innovators can take them quickly to the market and reach those in need. EIC Horizon Prizes are funded under Horizon 2020, the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation that preceded Horizon Europe. The EIC Horizon Prize for Early Warning for Epidemics was launched on 26 April 2018.

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