Bushfire volunteers all over the world are renowned for their willingness to roll up their sleeves and do what it takes to keep our communities safe.
Fire and rescue services have expert skills, but do so in areas where specialist tools and equipment are available from nearby backup stations. Urban firefighters also have the luxury of an endless supply of water delivered through standardised, high pressure mains outlets and easy access to other support agencies such as police, electricity suppliers, environment and traffic managers and all manner of healthcare professionals.
On the contrary, given the unpredictable nature of bushfire and huge areas of land at risk, the vast majority of Australia’s bushfire experts are volunteers with relatively limited access to water, specialist tools, equipment and backup. Consequently, they are often forced to use their ingenuity and whatever resources are available to manage an unfolding dangerous situation and protect our communities.
As the peak body for bushfire volunteers, we know that many deeply experienced and knowledgeable people have ideas that could improve the management of wildfire that never get developed or even tested.
Thus, in collaboration with our generous Innovation Partner, we created the Baker Hughes Innovation Development Program aimed at developing and promoting new innovative techniques and ideas for bushfire management. Ideas 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
Applications are invited from any Australian resident (as an individual or the authorised representative of an organisation/group) and will be accepted via the online form until 30 June 2021. Baker Hughes and Bushfire Volunteers teams will help shortlisted entries develop their ideas, and the grand finalist – to be announced in October – will win a cash prize of $10,000.
“It is great to see large companies partnering with Bushfire Volunteers to encourage and support innovation in the management of devastating wildfires 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.”
Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Hon Ben Morton MP