INESC Porto works with Portucel and MIT to develop Project to manage forest fires
Over the course of three years the Innovation and Technology Transfer Unit (UITT) will develop project FIRE-ENGINE–Flexible Design of Management Systems for Forest Fires. This incentive comes within the framework of MIT Portugal and Portucel Florestal SA and the Engineering Systems Division of MIT will also participate.
Project FIRE-ENGINE was created out of the need to improve fire combat and prevention policies as well as the management of the technology associated with them. Three main weaknesses in the system have been highlighted. The first is the lack of a systematic standpoint that considers both the selection of adequate combinations and alternative types of management along with the interaction between the environment, technology, society, culture, economy and management. The second weakness is the little attention paid to the critical variables that the system faces such as changes in the weather, the economic climate and the performance of technologies and operations. The third and final weakness is the lack of an adequate force that is able to deal with the complex dynamic of these systems.
With a budget of around 600 thousand Euros, project FIRE-ENGINE will focus on three areas in order to make innovative progress in the development of a design for a forest fire management system. The first area is the collection of data and modeling, the second is methodological innovation using a combination of dynamic systems with optimisation features and flexible designs. The final focal point is the development of cases studies lead by Portucel Florestal SA to perfect how companies use this data to improve their policies with regards to fire fighting. To support the research data on past fires and documented real-life operations will also be collected and an ethnographic study will be developed on the “stakeholders” of the system.
Project FIRE-ENGINE will also have the support of the Higher Institute of Agronomy at the Technical University of Lisbon (ISA) and the University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro (UTAD).
João Claro (UITT) and Richard de Neufville (MIT) will coordinate the team which is made up of José Cardoso Pereira (ISA), José Calvão Borges (ISA) Paulo Fernandes (UTAD) and Tiago Oliveira (Portucel Florestal SA).
Source: BIP January 2011