The Open Innovation Challenge Acceleration Programme Kicks Off!

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The journey towards building resilience against Extreme Wildfire Events took a significant stride forward with the beginning of the Open Innovation Challenge (OIC) Acceleration Programme.

Following more than 80 applications and a rigorous selection process, just over 50 innovative solutions have been chosen to receive tailored support and mentorship, aiming to assist them in becoming fully realised products and processes.

The kick-off webinar on 28th February 2024 marked the beginning of this exciting initiative and was attended by 87 participants, including selected innovators and representatives from the FIRE-RES Living Labs where some solutions will be tested. The event set the stage for collaborative progress with welcoming remarks and introductions from the OIC team, comprising EFI, CoLab Forestwise, INESCTEC as well as the coordinating partner of the FIRE-RES consortium, CTFC.

EFI’s team emphasised the need for a multi-scalar resilience-building process to tackle wildfires that does justice to the complexities of the phenomenon, and the importance of understanding the local context in which innovations are applied. EFI then invited participants to share where they located their solutions in the resilience-building process, to create a first snapshot understanding of the emerging OIC community of practice.

The participants were introduced to the opportunities provided by the Lessons on Fire platform, powered by the FIRELOGUE project and designed to foster collaboration within the fire community. The platform subscribers can share knowledge, access resources such as a Library and a TechMall, and network with other stakeholders, amplifying the potential impact of their solutions.

The webinar also outlined the comprehensive acceleration programme pillars: while only a limited group will be able to apply for financial support, all participants will be able to access the FIRE-RES Forum with high-level experts, a set of innovation development materials, and join webinars on various business development topics, communication activities, and partnership brokerage. These pillars aim to provide holistic support to innovators at every stage of their journey in an open and participative spirit.

The kick-off webinar of the OIC Acceleration Programme marked a significant milestone in FIRE-RES journey towards a safer and more fire-resilient future led by innovators across Europe and beyond.


Author: Beatrice Bellavia (Euromontana)

Contributors: Anne Ackermann and Carmen Rodriguez (EFI)