CARE-C’s USRL Supplies Department of Forests with Custom-Built Drones to Combat Wildfires

In a significant move to combat the escalating threat of wildfires in Cyprus, multi-asset broker Exness has pledged €300,000 towards the deployment of three state-of-the-art fire-detecting drones (unmanned aerial systems), developed by The Cyprus Institute’s Unmanned Systems Research Laboratory, for the Department of Forests. These drones are specifically tailored to Cyprus’ unique terrain and are set to significantly enhance the Department of Forests’ firefighting capabilities and early wildfire detection efforts.

During a press conference on November 10th, Exness announced the second phase of its initiative, highlighting the ongoing collaboration with The Cyprus Institute. Two of the specialized drones are already in operation, with a third expected to be in service by early 2024. This strategic contribution underscores CyI’s and Exness’ commitment to the preservation of Cyprus’ natural resources and the protection of its forests.

The Cyprus Institute’s role in developing customized drone technology showcases the power of collaboration between the private sector and research institutions in addressing critical environmental challenges. Also, during the event, additional four drones were handed over by The Cyprus Institute, related to the implementation of a contract that has been signed with the Department of Forests.

In his welcome address, Mr. Charalambos Alexandrou, Director of the Department of Forests, after expressing his graditude to Exness and The Cyprus Institute, praised the importance of using technology in the management of forest fires. He also mentioned that the use of drones will be an additional measure in both preventing fires for aerial patrols to detect fires or arsonists, and in extinguishing them by locating active fire sources, as well as mapping the area. 

Prof. Jean Sciare, Director of the Climate and Atmosphere Research Center and Head of the Unmanned Systems Research Laboratory at The Cyprus Institute, stated that this day marks a very important milestone in CyI’s collaboration with the Department of Forests and the joint efforts to better monitor and safeguard Cyprus’ forests, with the support of Exness. “The state-of-the-art drone technology we developed is tailor-made, to ensure the endurance and flexibility needed to perform in the challenging forest environment. At The Cyprus Institute, we remain committed to continuing to support the Department of Forests in the fight against wildfires, through the provision of advanced technology solutions, and training to help accelerate their wide-spread adoption in Cyprus”, he noted.

Mrs. Maria Christophides, representative of Exness, remarked that the growing wildfire issue has intensified over the recent years. “Through our continued contributions, we have made noteworthy progress. This donation is a continuation of others and will contribute to both fire prevention and extinguishing through the use of advanced methods”, she noted. She also stated that the technology developed by The Cyprus Institute is adapted to Cypriot lands and will benefit the protection of natural ecosystems throughout the country. In addition to equipment donation, Exness will cover the cost for three pilots for operating the drones for a period of two years. “Our drone donation equips the Department of Forests with technical resources to tackle the issue at its core. With this new technology, identifying wildfires and sending a dispatch to the exact location will become the new standard. Paired with the first phase of our donation last year, we are reducing response times and optimizing firefighting operations. We remain committed to our continued partnership with the Department of Forestry and The Cyprus Institute to further develop an intelligent and effective model for the protection of our forests and nature”, she concluded.