​​Technology vs Fire

​​Picture tiles from the inauguration ceremony of firefighting exhibition in Athens

Yesterday the exhibition Technology vs Fire was inaugurated in Zappeion Megaron in Athens. Jointly organised by the Hellenic Industrial Property Organisation (OBI) and the European Patent Office (EPO), the free, immersive exhibition is open to the public until 27 March 2024.

The inaugural event was opened by EPO President António Campinos and attended by several members of the Greek government, with speeches delivered by Deputy Minister of Development and Investments Mani-Papadimitriou and Minister of Climate Crisis and Civil Protection Vasilis Kikilias. Local experts who had helped to create the exhibition then participated in an engaging panel discussion. 

“With the UN warning of a 30% rise in wildfires by 2050, our collective response must go beyond individual efforts. We must pool as many resources as we can and empower innovators to bring new tech to market,” said President Campinos during his opening speech. “I believe that we will not necessarily be defined by the challenges we face, but by the collective efforts with which we confront them. The exhibition is a testament to this.” 

“Research and innovation stand at the forefront of preventing and tackling forest fires. Climate change is challenging the world with increasingly extreme events”, said OBI Director General Panagiotis G. Kanellopoulos. “The EPO exhibition, created in co-operation with OBI and organised in Athens in the heart of the Mediterranean, symbolises the decisive involvement of the intellectual property system in promoting new technologies in the fight against fires.” 

Forest fires pose a severe threat to ecosystems, human life and the economy. However, the capacity of human ingenuity to prevent and fight these fires, as well as protect the firefighters and restore natural habitats, cannot be underestimated. Technology vs Fire offers an interactive and inspiring experience that focuses on the people, technology and innovation that make these courageous efforts possible.  

Interviews with Greek inventors, researchers and firefighters provide unique insights that are accessible to all, including the next generation of inventors, whether visiting in person or following our social media channels, where the interviews can also be viewed.  

Highlighting the exciting new technologies being used in the field, the exhibition draws information from the EPO’s firefighting platform which was released last year in collaboration with experts from Greece, Portugal, Spain, France and Italy. The platform runs on Espacenet, the EPO’s free online patent database, and provides ready-made smart searches to support inventors, scientists and engineers in accessing and advancing technical knowledge for fighting wildfires.  

Technology vs Fire was designed with the intention of being displayed throughout Europe. On 11 April, a similar exhibition will be inaugurated in Slovenia, featuring local information and experts. 

President meets with Greek Minister of Development and Investments 

Before the inauguration, President Campinos took the opportunity to meet with Minister of Development and Investments Konstantinos Skrekas, who is responsible for the Greek IP Office. During this warm first meeting, there was an introduction to the EPO and its work, a discussion of the EPO's vision for its Strategic Plan 2028 and constructive exchanges on topics such as the Unitary Patent.