Event aims to explore tech solutions for fire safety

New technology and traditional engineering skills are set to revolutionise fire safety as a collaboration between the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), the Association for Project Safety (APS) and Hack_Construct are launching a competition today designed to kick-start new safety solutions.

Organisers are looking for a mix of industry experts, building owners, tech start-ups, coders and developers to come along to an open workshop on 22 November 2018 where they can begin developing new fire safety solutions to go on to commercial development. 

The aim is to harness the potential of computer coding and modelling to drive innovation in fire safety. The competition will see winning ideas from the November workshop taken forward for commercial development at a further session towards the end of February 2019.

The shortlist of projects for the second stage will be decided in January 2019 when initial ideas are evaluated by a panel of judges.

Bobby Chakravarthy from APS said: “We are looking for bright sparks to kick-start new commercial solutions to fire safety. The Institution of Engineering and Technology, the Association for Project Safety and Hack_Construct believe that, together, we can speed up the pace of change to deliver radically safer buildings.

“Our aim is to harness a powerful coalition of coders and new technology experts with experts in traditional engineering and safety construction skills to find new tools to ensure fire safety is built in right from the design and development stage.”

Rick Hartwig, built environment lead for the Institution of Engineering and Technology, said: “Grenfell was a game changer for fire safety. Following the tragedy and subsequent recommendations by Dame Judith Hackitt in her Building a Safer Future report, the construction industry has started to respond, offering potential solutions to improve fire safety design and regulations.

“The launch of the competition signals a further commitment by the engineering and risk management communities to take fire seriously and to tap into new technology to develop commercial solutions to safety.”

Hack_Construct’s Ryan Tennyson said: “The construction sector is in a race for life allowing faster development of safety tools, products and building solutions to help cut the risk of deaths from major fires. Gaming allows a freer approach to problem solving and we believe this innovative combination of technology know-how and technical skills will push new safety solutions faster from concept stage to production and use.”

The open workshop will be held on Thursday 22 November 2018 at the IET in London. The day will be divided into three working sessions: context setting where aims will be set out; speed dating session to create the development teams; project development to establish ideas for submission to the second round. The day will conclude with a networking session to continue team building.

Teams will then have until the end of December to scope and document the solutions. On 15 January 2019 the organisers will announce accepted proposals and the teams that will participate in a two-day event to be held on the IET’s Savoy Place premises in February.

The initial workshop is open to all but places are limited.

Anyone interested in coming along should register at:

Image: Wikimedia Commons

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