The environmental, social and economic impacts of forest wildfires put hundreds of thousands of lives and livelihoods at risk, as well as vast swathes of biodiversity and entire ecosystems. Rising temperatures, high winds and drought, closely associated with climate change, pose new challenges to fire prevention and firefighting.
According to the Advance Report on Forest Fires in Europe, Middle East and North Africa, in 2022, wildfires in the European Union alone burned more than 8 300 km2 of land, an overall area more than three times the size of Luxembourg. The report also notes 2022 as being the second worst year in Europe in terms of burnt areas and number of fires since 2006.
Innovation in fire prevention, firefighting, wildfire control and forest restoration is essential to address this challenge. Global success depends on the access to the right know how and the access to the technical information contained in patents, which describe the most recent advances and can support researchers and innovators in finding inventive solutions to address risks internationally.
This is the third Espacenet platform, following the "Fighting Coronavirus" and "Clean energy technologies" platforms. It provides some 30 ready-made search queries, combining keywords and classification. These queries enable precise navigation through over one hundred million documents in Espacenet. The platform aims to support inventors, scientists and engineers in accessing the most relevant patent information containing some of the most advanced technical knowledge on fighting wildfires. All users of firefighting innovation can benefit from this platform to find out which technologies are out there to help them.
The search queries result from the synergy of expert patent examiners and analysts from the European Patent Office (EPO), OEPM (Spain), INPI (Portugal), INPI (France), OBI (Greece) and UIBM (Italy) who have joined forces to support scientists and innovators in their endeavours.
Areas covered include:
- fire detection and prevention
- fire extinguishing
- protective equipment
- post-fire restoration