LOCATION: Perth Western Australia, May 14, 2021 – Bushfire Volunteers Western Australia (WA) and Baker Hughes, a global energy technology company, announced the launch of the Bushfire Volunteers-Baker Hughes Innovation Development Program, to encourage and support innovation in bushfire prevention and management in Australia.

The program is aimed at developing and promoting new innovative techniques and ideas for bushfire management, in the prevention of, preparedness for, response to or recovery from bushfires. It will be accepting submissions for any creative ideas until 30 June 2021. Baker Hughes and Bushfire Volunteers teams will help shortlisted entries develop their ideas, and the winner will receive a $10,000 prize.

“Baker Hughes is committed to contributing to the communities we live and operate in, and we are excited to launch this joint program with the Bushfires Volunteers Association to engage with the local community to help prevent, prepare for, respond to and recover from bushfires,” said Graham Gillies, vice president of Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea (ANP) at Baker Hughes.

“We continue to battle with seasonal bushfires in Australia, and it is important that we come together to find a way to deliver meaningful change and create a positive impact for the future.”

Dave Gossage AFSM, Bushfire Volunteers president, said the partnership with Baker Hughes will deliver very positive outcomes for all involved and possibly revolutionise some aspects of a growing global challenge.

“While there have been improvements in the way communities prevent, prepare for, respond to and recover from bushfire, we know there are a lot of unexplored ideas for improvement out there,” Gossage said.

“When the Baker Hughes team asked how they could help, we jumped at the chance to partner and build a program that we hope will encourage more ‘out of the box’ thinking about wildfire. This can range from physical tools, equipment and inventions that help mitigate or suppress fire, to firefighting processes or environmental practices that assist in preventing, preparing for, responding to, and recovering from bushfires.”

“This program is designed to consider every idea – the more innovative the better – and with the help of the expert team of innovators at Baker Hughes, provide practical support to develop them.”

Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Hon Ben Morton MP said, “It is great to see large companies partnering with Bushfire Volunteers to encourage and support innovation in the management of devastating wild fires like those that devastated much of Australia two summers ago.”

“I have no doubt that many of Australia’s 250,000+ fire volunteers have good ideas that could help improve our preparation for and response to dangerous fires. I wish Baker Hughes and Bushfire Volunteers well with this innovative program and look forward to seeing how the ideas develop over the next three years.”

For entry and other details, visit www.bushfire.org.au/programs/idp