discussion / Climate Change  / 4 October 2018


Forest fire and the resulting haze has become an almost annual disaster in Indonesia and Malaysia. The haze that covered much of Southeast Asia in 2015 was the worst in recent years. A total of 2.6 million hectares of forest, peat and other land were burnt and the World Bank estimated the total economic costs in Indonesia alone exceed US $16 billion.

The current methods of suppressing inland and peatland forest fires include using water and retardant, fire barriers, re-wetting peatland, water bombing and cloud seeding. These can be dangerous, costly, inaccessible, weather dependent, slow and ineffective sometimes.

Thus, the XFire Innovation Challenge seeks scalable technological solutions to suppress large wildfires in Southeast Asia’s inland and peatland forest. This challenge will reduce deforestation, carbon emission, respiratory health issues and economic loss caused by forest fires and resultant haze. It is organized by WWF-Malaysia in partnertship with  Malaysia Global Innovation & Creativity Center (MaGIC), Sabah Forestry Department (SFD) and Institute of Tropical Forestry and Forest Product (INTROP), Universiti Putra Malaysia.

This innovation challenge will be carried out in 3 phases to help incubate and develop the best possible solutions. The objectives for each phase are:

Phase 1: The innovation challenge to find a better* solution to suppress inland and peatland forest fire is launched by September 2018, and at least 10 proof-of-concepts received by December 2018.

Selected teams will enter Phase 2 and will receive nominal financial support to develop prototypes.

Phase 2: By February 2019, at least 1 prototype is developed and entered into the innovation challenge.

Selected teams will enter Phase 3 and will receive all-expenses paid trip to Sabah, Malaysia for the lab and testing.

Phase 3: By June 2020, at least 1 better* solution for suppressing inland and peatland forest fire is identified, and had successfully attracted investment to accelerate product development and delivery.

(*better can means faster, cheaper, and/or safer)

ARE YOU UP FOR THE CHALLENGE? PLEASE REGISTER HERE, magicactivate.com/challenge/12