Canadian Manufacturing

Federal government offers funding for software tools that mitigate wildfires

Natural Resources Canada is looking for new software capable of producing high-resolution vegetation mapping data in wild land.

February 22, 2022   by CM Staff

Northwest Crown Fire Experiment, Northwest Territories, Canada Wikimedia Commons.

OTTAWA — The Innovative Solutions Canada program is inviting small and medium-sized businesses to develop and present solutions for communities at risk of sustaining damage from wildfires.

Under the program, Natural Resources Canada is looking for new software capable of producing high-resolution vegetation mapping data in wild land, urban interface areas and wild land areas near communities.

Existing mechanisms for wildfire behaviour prediction could be improved through accurate mapping data on fuel attributes, according to a statement from ISEDC. Additionally, the forest sector already collects information on vegetation structure and composition, but there are still not enough tools available for quick and cost-effective processing of wildfire fuel attributes from these data.

A statement from Innovation Science and Economic Development Canada notes that 2021 brought 6,224 wildfires costing 4.18 million hectares of land, making 2021 one of the most devastating years for communities affected by wildfires.

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Challenge winners may receive up to $150,000 to refine their research and development into novel software. If accepted into the second phase of the program, winners may also receive up to $1 million to develop a working prototype. The government can then act as a first customer, helping these businesses commercialize their innovations, scale up their business and create good middle-class jobs across Canada.