CELEBRATING BCOMING’S BIRTHDAY MONTH!
This September marks the 1st anniversary of BCOMING’s launch! To celebrate, let’s look back together and see how much we accomplished in a year.
A short recap on BCOMING
Co-funded by Horizon Europe with a contribution of 4.9 million euros and backed with a strong and diverse consortium of 14 partners, BCOMING officially started on the 1st of September of 2022 as a 4-year project aimed at better understanding the key role that biodiversity and its conservation plays in the prevention of future pandemics.
How are we achieving this?
Firstly, we have defined a series of biodiversity hotspots in key tropical regions where sampling, surveillance and analysis actions are taking place. This will allow us to:
- Generate valuable knowledge about the mechanisms that play a role in the prevention of the emergence of infectious diseases, as well as to
- Set standardized practices of analysis and surveillance, and to
- Develop detection tools for early detection of pathogens.
On top of that, we are focusing heavily on establishing participatory approaches in these areas to:
- Integrate the knowledge and tools generated,
- Develop 7 specific agent-based models (ABM), and
- Co-create biodiversity conservation and surveillance strategies.
What have we accomplished so far? The year in numbers!
Fieldwork in 3 hotspots is underway!
After 2 fieldtrips in March and May to Cambodia and Guinea, fieldwork in these areas has already begun, as well as in Ivory Coast. Specific sampling protocols have been developed for each of these areas, where the collection of biological samples from animals is taking place. Water samples are also being collected in Cambodia and Ivory Coast, and Guadeloupe and Guinea will soon follow.
Meanwhile, analysis protocols for these samples are being finalized in the partners laboratories.
5 workshops have taken place so far.
5 workshops have already taken place. These focused on increasing awareness, setting community-based surveillance, and assigning actions to responsible actors. The following steps will involve scientific testing of the hypotheses, carrying out socio-economic surveys, and modelling the proposed actions.
The first 2 workshops were held in Stung Treng and Battambang, in Cambodia, with 3 more taking place in Guinea during July.
We are boosting our communication!
Our online presence has been growing steadily. We have continued to create content for our pages, including a project newsletter on LinkedIn, and over 20 blog posts on our website. We have even been nominated for an EU Web Award!
We strengthened our bond with our partners
We made sure to hold regular meetings with our partners to be on the same page and regularly updated with all the news. This year we had a total of 5 internal meetings, including our kick-off event in Montpellier in September of last year.
We took care of our presence on and offline
BCOMING has been featured in 2 different media publications and has created 1 scientific publication so far. On top of that, we have attended 5 different events this year, including the Scientific & Steering Committee of GREASE Network in Indonesia, and the 2nd Guinean Public Health Days.
The next steps!
On top of continuing with the ongoing work, this are some of the things that we have in line for the next few months:
We will soon be launching a French version of BCOMING’s website and will start a bilingual communication strategy.
A 6th workshop will take place in Guadeloupe in December.
Lastly, our first annual meeting will happen between the 16th and 18th of October in Antwerp, Belgium, where all the partners will come together to share their lates updates and results and plan the roadmap for the following year.
We cannot wait to share more with you very soon and hope you are as excited about this project and its accomplishments as we are!