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WWF : Xtinct Forest Fire Innovation Challenge (XFire) Featured

Forest fire and the resulting haze has become an almost annual disaster in Indonesia and Malaysia. The haze that covered much of Southeast Asia in 2015 was the worst in recent years. A total of 2.6 million hectares area of forest, peat, and other land were burnt and the World Bank estimated the biodiversity cost to be US $295 million. Burnt forests are degraded and more susceptible to fire; it is a vicious cycle. Degraded forests are also more likely to be converted to other land use, thus contributing to rate of deforestation. The current methods of suppressing forest fires include using water and retardant, fire barriers, re-wetting peatland, water bombing and cloud seeding. These can be dangerous, costly, inaccessible, weather dependent, slow and ineffective sometimes. The Xtinct Forest Fire Innovation Challenge aims at seeking innovative solutions to suppress wildfires in Southeast Asian inland and peatland forests – in a faster, safer, and cheaper manner.

About the challenge

Phase 1: Proof of Concept - online written and video submission explaining the concept, technology, set up and pre-conditions. 

Phase 2: Prototype - online submission of technical description and video showing a prototype, how it works and ease of deployment.

Phase 3: On-site Lab and Testing - 1-week on-site lab with testing facility; may involve suppressing real forest fires.


Phase 1:  USD 5,000 for prototyping (to be divided among the winning teams)

Phase 2:  All-expense paid trip to Sabah, Malaysia for the lab and testing; technical support and mentorship

Phase 3:  USD 100,000 prize money + accelerator support + access to impact investment/pilot contract

Criteria / Eligibility


  • Open to the public both local and international.
  • Applicants can be individuals, team, startups or research/educational institutions
  • Participants must be 18 years of age or older.

Judging Criteria:

  • The innovation entered must be novel and has not yet been commercialized.
  • The innovation is safe and has minimal to zero negative impact on the environment.
  • Rate and ease of deployment: The solution be deployed from a permanent or mobile base to a distance of 50 km within 4 hours in bad air quality, and suppress a 50-hectare fire in 48 hours.


  • Date Start: 2018 Sep 06
  • Date End: 2019 Sep 30


WWF Malaysia is a Malaysian organisation affiliated with WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature), the international conservation organisation. Established as a national conservation trust on 13 January 1972, WWF Malaysia is also known as Tabung Alam Malaysia.

WWF's Mission is to stop the degradation of the planet’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature.

Our early work focused on scientific research of wildlife and important natural habitats. This work later expanded to the management of protected areas. Today, WWF-Malaysia’s work covers the broader issues of the natural environment, incorporating such aspects as policy work, environmental education, public awareness and campaigns.

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