NEW YORK – (NewMediaWire) – August 02, 2021 – ILUS International Inc (OTC: ILUS), ILUS is a M&A company focussed on acquiring and developing technology-based companies globally. The company has already completed 3 acquisitions in 2021, recently signed two Letters of Intent for the acquisition of two US companies, and is in discussions with additional strategic acquisition targets. With more than 80 large wildfires recently taking place across 12 US States, wildfires are clearly increasing with devastating consequences. ILUS confirmed for its Shareholders the important role that its technology will play in an effective and comprehensive wildfire management strategy.
In its weekly Shareholder Q&A, ILUS responded to Shareholder questions regarding the use of ILUS technology for wildfire management. The company confirmed that it has existing technology in place to form part of a coordinated and efficient wildfire response strategy. It also confirmed that its vision for wildfire management using ILUS technology is to deliver a comprehensive set of solutions for wildfire management which is not only limited to firefighting equipment.
ILUS Managing Director, John-Paul Backwell, said, “We know that wildfires are on the increase and current strategies just aren’t sufficient for combatting them. In terms of how we foresee ILUS technology being used for wildfire management, we are aiming to deliver a complete set of solutions for wildfire management, starting from prevention and training through to surveillance, monitoring, response, extinguishing, smoke scrubbing and clean up.”
ILUS has existing wildfire customers in Spain, Portugal, Australia, and South Africa that have incorporated its existing water mist and rapid response technology into their wider wildfire management strategy. Now, in the US, the company is aligning its acquisition strategy, gearing up its existing technology and sales “engine”, whilst simultaneously developing new technology and partnerships to provide a more comprehensive set of solutions for wildfire management combined with an effective sales and distribution structure for delivery to the US market.
ILUS summarises its strategy for wildfire management as follows:
Prevention: The company is currently looking at technology solutions which assist in the prevention of wildfires. There are several innovative technologies out there which ILUS is exploring. Some of these technologies include, but are not limited to, specialized monitoring and advanced warning software, aerial surveillance and associated early detection solutions, more innovative communications equipment, and preventative training.
Training: ILUS already has a partnership with Take Leap for the purpose of delivering Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) virtual reality training solutions. The company is working on the expansion of this for firefighter training, since the technology is excellent for repeatable live scenario training, and then for the training of municipalities, the military and potentially even geographically “at-risk” communities on preventing and responding to the threat of wildfires.
Surveillance: ILUS is currently testing Drone technology for surveillance. Through its partnership with Take Leap, the company is working on the development of advanced analytics software for surveillance to complement the Drone technology for several applications, including wildfires. The company is clear that when it comes to surveillance of large wildfires, there is no perfect solution. Since drones are not effective in high winds which is typically when large wildfires thrive, the optimal surveillance solution is a combination of multiple technologies working in sync, such as Incident command vehicles with surveillance cameras, helicopters, and drones. ILUS stated that the key to bringing all forms of technology and emergency response personnel together is communications software and confirmed that as part of its focus on delivering a comprehensive set of solutions for emergency response, it will also offer communications software and complimentary technologies such as wearable tech and IoT devices. The advantage of ILUS delivering end-to-end solutions for emergency response, will deliver increased effectiveness and efficiency to the entire wildfire management process, which will ultimately save billions of dollars in property losses and more importantly, the unnecessary loss of life.
Response: In terms of response to wildfires, ILUS listed that its existing technology can play a major role in a more efficient wildfire response. ILUS’ technology is not limited to water-mist products and solutions, although these are core to the success and disruptiveness of the company’s technology. ILUS’ rapid response vehicle solutions are also contributing to a properly coordinated wildfire response. One of ILUS’ acquisitions, FireBug, manufactures co-polymer vehicle bodies which can weigh as much as 70% less than traditional vehicle bodies. This means that response vehicles with a FireBug vehicle body can carry more wildfire equipment, life safety equipment and more water. In addition, this technology enables more capable pick-up trucks and off-road UTV’s to deliver floating pumps, rescue equipment, wildfire fighting tools, and still provide firefighting capability with 10-20 minutes of discharge time from a small tank. ILUS is aware that strong wind conditions can be of concern when using water mist technology, however, firefighters will aim to position themselves upwind of fire, regardless of which type of firefighting technology they are using. FireBug’s MistNozzles can also be used on large fire trucks with their existing pumps and connected to their existing lay flat hoses, meaning that an existing fire truck with a 1500-gallon water tank, could take 4 and a half hours (273 minutes) to discharge its tank when using FireBug’s water mist technology. ILUS confirmed that its water mist technology is not the answer for all scenarios, but it should form part of a coordinated response which utilises the best technology available in each situation. In some cases, it can take hours for a replacement fire truck to reach a location where a fire has yet to burn out completely and may continually re-ignite. In a situation like this, a water mist solution is priceless in terms of its value. In addition to lightweight co-polymer vehicle bodies and MistNozzles that can run on existing vehicles and pumps, existing technology under the ILUS banner for wildfire response includes floating pumps, BacPac extinguishing units, smaller rapid response vehicles such as an electric 6-wheel UTV, and pick-up trucks with integrated fire systems and rescue capability, portable pumps and skid units, 6×6 off-road fire trucks, large fire trucks and water tankers. Alongside the constant and growing threat of wildfires, the rate of flooding is also increasing globally. This means that the firefighters are responding to both increased wildfires and flooding. ILUS’ broad range of floating pumps and its Maverick portable pump unit are supremely capable in the event of both wildfires and flooding. The Maverick skid unit can suction water whilst simultaneously delivering water through two outlets for either firefighting or pumping water, making it an excellent all-around solution for firefighters and rescue personnel.
Extinguishing: ILUS’ water-mist technology is effective as a tool within a set of tools for fighting wildfires. It provides a curtain of protection for firefighters from heat and is the most efficient method of extinguishing fires. ILUS confirmed that its main challenge in this regard is delivering higher volumes of water mist to combat larger wildfires, especially those that are out of control. For this, the company has been testing fan driven water mist solutions, which can deliver water mist droplets covering a large surface area into a large fire from as much as 50 meters away.
Smoke scrubbing: One of the greatest challenges faced by firefighters and the public during wildfires, is harmful smoke particles, as the particles involved can be highly toxic or carcinogenic and smoke inhalation is a major cause of death in big fires, especially wildfires. Smoke is not a gas but a cloud of very small particles. These particles stick to the surface of water mist droplets, so water mist has the effect of cleaning the air. ILUS’ water mist technology is therefore incredibly effective at smoke scrubbing. The importance of this smoke scrubbing effect cannot be underestimated or overlooked and proves that water mist should be an essential tool in the bag for firefighters to be utilised when needed.
Clean up: The use of water mist in firefighting means that less water is needed to effectively fight the fire. This means that there is almost no hazardous waste created by the water run-off. Traditional firefighting methods utilizing high volumes of water cause toxic particles to run off and severely damage the environment. ILUS clarified that authorities need to use all tools available in the moment to protect property and life, although very often the solution to fighting fires, especially wildfires, is simply to get as much water as possible on it. Whilst this may be the optimal short-term solution, ILUS believes that water-mist will play a key role as part of a smarter, more sustainable, more effective, and more efficient wildfire management strategy.
ILUS confirmed that its acquisition strategy for the US market follows a very clear triple pronged approach. Firstly, ILUS is acquiring manufacturing capacity. Secondly, the company is acquiring routes to market, brand awareness and market knowledge, and thirdly, ILUS is acquiring innovative technology. ILUS has already signed two Letters of Intent for companies which align with its acquisition strategy and the company is also in discussions with two more strategic acquisitions in the US. One of these acquisition targets is a company which sells an extensive range of wildfire fighting equipment. In the last week, ILUS has begun engagement with this potential acquisition and is making good progress through its due diligence process, where the initial review is looking very promising, although it has not yet reached the stage of signing a Letter of Intent. The company is geographically well situated, and the product range is extremely well aligned with ILUS’ growth plans.
ILUS’ entrance into the US wildfire market will not be in time for the current wildfire season, but will certainly be ready for the 2022 wildfire season and the purchasing which takes place in the run up to the season. California’s current budget for the 2022 wildfire season is reported to be $1 billion although some reports state that this could be increased to between $5 billion and $10 billion for 2022 due to recent events. ILUS will be well positioned through its acquired and existing technology to deliver effective products and solutions to the relevant authorities.
In its response to Shareholder questions, ILUS confirmed that it will be setting up distribution centres on the East and West Coasts of the US and this would be for the distribution of existing products such as FireBug’s floating pumps, skid units, BacPacs and nozzles. It would also be for the distribution of products sold by the newly acquired businesses, given that some of them have or will have online sales platforms in place. The company mentioned that the new acquisition’s current distribution facilities or models could be improved through more efficient distribution centres operating with the same ERP system and greater output per each member of staff. ILUS clarified that the distribution model on the West Coast will be the same as that on the East Coast, except that it will hold more stock of wildfire fighting equipment in the West Coast facility, but maintain the flexibility to respond to the needs of the local region. An example used was, if there is flooding on the East Coast, the company can respond quickly with stockholding of the appropriate equipment.
Nick Link, ILUS CEO, stated that, “We already possess phenomenal technology that provides valuable tools for firefighters when fighting wildfires. We are adding to the current technology with a more complete product set and additional ground-breaking technology. We are growing rapidly and look forward to making more announcements as we deliver our wider US strategy, which more than anything, will protect more property and save more lives.”
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