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Last update: May 2021

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Insects are key players of major scientific and socio-economic challenges. On the one hand, they provide beneficial services in ecosystems such as pollination and crop protection. They can also be a source of bio-inspiration for industry or constitute innovative food sources to cope with demographic pressure and global food security.  On the other hand, they are also the basis of “disservices” with significant economic, health and/or heritage impacts as pests or disease vectors.

The impact of global changes triggered a sixth mass extinction. Understanding how insects react to these environmental changes is essential in order to preserve the sustainable functioning of ecosystems and minimise the loss of biodiversity (Environmental issues). The decline of 80% of insects in the last 30 years has serious consequences on the functioning of ecosystems and the survival of other emblematic organisms such as birds and bats. Understanding the causes and consequences of this decline is a priority in order to safeguard our natural heritage (Heritage issues).

Growing demographic pressure combined with the decrease of natural resources also makes it urgent to optimise food production by proposing new sustainable strategies for controlling insect pests and developing insect production as a source of human/animal food (Food issues). All these disturbances also lead to an increase in the risks of diseases transmitted by insect vectors (Health issues). Finally, insects are proving to be an important source of bio inspiration to design innovative materials and technologies that consume less energy and pollute less (Technological issues).

The Centre-Val de Loire Region is home to a unique international pool of scientific expertise in four academic laboratories and various non-academic structures (companies, associations, design offices, etc.) for which insects are major objects of study.

The EntomoCentre network has received the support of the Centre-Val de Loire Region to federate, at a local level, laboratories, universities, institutions, associations and companies to move forward together towards tomorrow's solutions.