A total of 149 proposals were submitted by start-up companies, researchers, scientists and students
By George Keramitzoglou
It was completed with great success and wide participation 1st Program for Finding and Highlighting Technological Solutions for Forest EcosystemsSmart Forest Innovation Challenge by the General Secretariat of Forests of the Ministry of Environment & Energy.
The purpose of the competition was to highlight technological challenges in areas such as prevention and protection, restoration and the development of digital tools for forest management and the recording of solutions that can be exploited commercially in the context of the national strategy for the management of forest ecosystems.
A total of 149 proposals were submitted by start-up companies, researchers, scientists and students and 18 teams qualified for the final phase of the competition, which presented their innovative ideas.
The contestants were invited to propose solutions, using their expertise in the following thematic sections:
- Forest Prevention & Protection
- Forest Restoration
- Digitization of Forests
The Minister of Environment and Energy, Kostas Skrekas, addressed the competition remotely, who said, among other things: “The organization of the Smart Forest Innovation Challenge is yet another proof of the innovative policy we follow in favor of the Environment. I believe that our Ministry, through the General Secretariat of Forests, will greatly benefit from the results of this competition and will utilize all the innovative technological solutions that will be presented today.”
The Deputy Minister of Environment and Energy, Giorgos Amyras, in his message, emphasized that: “It is very positive that 149 proposals were submitted, which proves that in order to protect a forest ecosystem, an active and healthy innovation ecosystem and new technological applications are also needed. In an era of climate crisis, emphasis has been placed on preventing unpleasant natural phenomena and dealing with them with innovative technological solutions”.
At the start of the event, the General Secretary of Forestry of the Ministry of Environment and Energy, Professor Constantinos Arabosis, highlighted the value of the competition for the General Secretariat of Forestry, stressing that “the central vision of the General Secretariat of Forestry is the “smart” sustainable forest, in which, through innovative technologies, forest service officials will be able to monitor the forest and effectively manage forest ecosystems, with an emphasis on prevention and immediate recovery after natural disasters.
The winners of the Smart Forest Innovation Challenge are as follows:
1st Prize – Early Fire Detection & Automatic Warning System – ANANIAS – AA ALARM EEE
Early fire detection-fire protection system, which includes a complete autonomous system of thermographic and optical cameras with radiometry (TR), with the aim of early fire detection and immediate notification of competent bodies such as Civil Protection, Fire Brigade, etc., but also the automatic activation of the irrigation system, if it exists in the area.
2nd Prize – AILApaths – CAIUS EE
An artificial intelligence program that, using digital maps, satellite images in the visible and infrared spectrum, geomorphological data, videos from drones, but also user data, automatically detects and evaluates the paths offering a map with their exact location.
3rd Prize – Acoustic detection of anthropogenic pressures in real time within burned forests – ELGO Dimitra
Early warning system using a network of acoustic sensors for the real-time detection of incidents of poaching, poaching and illegal grazing within burnt areas and unburnt islets.
Honorable mentions were awarded to the following teams:
- Prevention and Protection of Forests – Mr. Christoforos Karanikas, Forester of Agia Forestry
- Forest Restoration – DNA Sequence
- Digitization of Forests – Dryads
- Best Student Idea – HIVE
- Innovative Idea – Gerobo International
- Best Research Idea – Forestry CSI
In addition to the monetary prizes, the awardees will be given the opportunity to present their solutions to the European Parliament, while the Ministry of Environment and Energy will support them to integrate the proposed innovations into the implementation of the Ministry’s forestry policy.
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