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About FireTech

Who is behind FireTech Connect?

The FireTech 2020 program is an initative of the Peregian Digital Hub, a leading technology incubator based in Noosa on Queensland's Sunshine Coast.

After almost being destroyed by a catastrophic bushfire, we decided to create a program which could catapult the commercialisation efforts of promising technology companies with solutions in the bushfire emergency space.

FireTech Connect is funded by the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources through the AusIndustry Entrepreneurs’ Programme; The Queensland State Government's Advance Queensland Program; and Noosa Shire Council.

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Learn more about the Hub, here.

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    The fire starts in Peregian Springs with howling wind blowing towards Peregian Beach.

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    The fires quickly spread towards Peregian Beach and Coolum.

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    Firefighters and police patrol the area in perilous conditions, ensuring everyone is evacuated..

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    Residents are ordered to evacuate as 200ft flames surround their residences.

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    As the inferno grows, firefighters encounter an ember attack as they try to protect homes.

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    The blaze continues into the morning with 6 choppers deployed to water bomb the fire front.

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    Aerial view of fire perimiter. Hub lawn in centre of picture.

It all starts with a near miss

When we think about catastrophic climate risks, we tend to think about rising seas inundating towns and cities. But in September 2019, we got a visceral reminder of a more clear and present danger, when our town was almost wiped out by an enormous bushfire.


Watch the slideshow 👈 to learn more.

Why FireTech?

The fact that our near miss happened a full four months before the "normal" bushfire season, after an unseasonally long dry spell, is indicative that bush fire conditions are becoming more prevalent and the risk to regional communities is growing in lockstep.

The fires razed the bushland surrounding Peregian Beach and came within 100m of our Digital Hub - only the heroic efforts of a team of 300 firefighters prevented the raging inferno wiping out hundreds of homes, shops and businesses.

As tech geeks we of course wanted to understand what role technology played in the emergency response and so we spent time debriefing with key players in the response effort to get an inside view. What we learned was that a bushfire emergency involves a set of highly dynamic and complex problem spaces from firefighting to public communications to evacuation management.

Many of these problem spaces are ripe for innovative solutions that use some of the powerful technology platforms available to us in 2019, including drones, computer vision, predictive analytics, autonomous vehicles, robotics, near-realtime satellite imagery, IOT systems, social media, etc. We call this category of tech innovation FireTech.

Firetech is not only a relevant subject for us here in Noosa, indeed most regional areas of Australia and many regions in the USA and Europe also face a growing risk of catastrophic bushfires. We believe that as these risks grow, it will result in massive global demand for FireTech.