At a launch event held in Nicosia on October 19, 2023, Huawei, in cooperation with startup company PROBOTEK, and utilising Cyta’s 5G network, presented the early fire-detection use case, within the frame of the “Smart & Green Village” programme. The solution has been deployed in Athalassa Park, and its features were introduced in the presence of government guests, and representatives of academia and non-governmental organisations.
Cyprus is a Mediterranean country that is exposed to exceptionally hot and dry summers. However, new technologies such as 5G, Artificial Intelligence and drones are able to detect forest fires in advance, reducing damage and protecting the lives and property of local residents.
Forestry Department Chief Constable Andreas Christou gave an opening address on behalf of President Nikos Christodoulides, Agriculture Minister Petros Xenofontos and Forestry Department General Manager Charalambos Alexandrou.
“This initiative demonstrates the high degree of sensitivity and active interest of Huawei Technologies (Cyprus) in issues of protecting our forests and natural environment from fires,” said Christou. “In the battle to tackle fires, there is no room for complacency and, more importantly, no one is left out. It is with great satisfaction that today, the will of the private sector in this direction is confirmed through the innovative fire detection programme Smart & Green Village by Huawei.”
Also referring to the detection programme, Deputy Minister for Research, Innovation and Digital Policy, Philippos Hadjizacharias pointed out that: “Huawei has developed a smoke-and-fire-detection drone for the prevention and immediate response to fires in semi-mountainous and mountainous areas. This drone operates using artificial intelligence technology, and its functionality, supported by Cyta’s upgraded network coverage, enhances its reliability in producing results”.
Continuing, he added that: “initiatives like this support the strategy developed by our Ministry for the development of smart cities in Cyprus, using innovation and technology to address significant challenges that, once resolved, will improve the quality of life for our citizens”.
For his part, Cyta Chief Commercial Officer George Metzakis observed that the: “Cyta 5G network will be instrumental in enabling Huawei to implement its wildfire detection project by providing high-speed, low-latency connectivity, essential for real-time data transmission and drone operations.
“As we look to the future, developing 5G opens up endless possibilities: from revolutionising emergency response to powering smart cities, that enhance the quality of life for all citizens. It’s a game-changer, and we’re excited to be at the forefront of this transformative technology,” he added.
In his own address, Vice President of Huawei European Region Radoslaw Kedzia said Huawei will continue to create initiatives and solutions that contribute to addressing environmental and social issues in Cyprus and the whole of Europe.
“Technology should not be in opposition to nature; instead, it should help nature thrive,” he said. “Besides, we believe that digital technologies such as AI, Cloud, and 5G are being rapidly integrated and extensively applied across different industries – this is facilitating digital transformation and sustainable socio-economic development, and bringing tangible benefits to society as a whole.”
The event was held in cooperation with think tank Darwin’s Circle – whose mission is to connect global digital influencers and experts with Austria’s opinion leaders – within the frame of the “Vienna Tech4Green Initiative”, a long-term initiative towards developing sustainability technology and solutions.
As part of an expert panel discussion, Darwin’s Circle Founder Nikolaus Pelinka underlined the significant role of technology in driving sustainability.
“We, at Darwin’s Circle, believe that technology and innovation are the most important driving forces towards a sustainable and green future,” he said. “Together with our valuable long-term partner Huawei, as well as other companies and institutions, we have established the Vienna Tech4Green Initiative. This initiative aims to focus on the crucial role of new technologies in reducing carbon emissions, protecting the environment, and creating a better world.”
The fire-detection use case was implemented for the first time in 2022 in Athens. Since then, its features have been tested and improved upon, with it being introduced this year in the next country suffering from the wildfires issue. Thus, the early fire-detection system implementation in Cyprus is part of a long-term social contribution programme under the Smart & Green Village frame, which aims to provide wide connectivity and smart education to rural areas of the country.