Winning companies will receive between R$500,000 and R$1.5 million to carry out deep and soft tech projects
This Friday (12/3), Petrobras announced the twenty winning companies in the III Petrobras Connections for Innovation Program's public notice Startups module. With a value of R$ 22 million and aimed at small innovative companies, the selection is the largest ever opened in the oil, gas and energy sector in the country. The startups will receive investments of up to R $ 500,000 or up to R $ 1.5 million, depending on the category ( deep tech or soft tech), to be used in projects in the Digital Technologies (12), Robotics (3), Inspection Technologies (2), Geological Modeling (2) and Energy Efficiency (1) verticals. The expected date for signing the contracts and starting work is February 2022.
In addition to financial support for the development of innovation projects, the selected companies receive technical mentoring with Petrobras specialists and business mentoring and management support with Sebrae consultants , the company's partner in the notice. At the end of the process, successfully completed projects have the possibility of meeting the demands not only of Petrobras, but also of becoming suppliers in the oil and gas production chain.
"Petrobras' leading role in the interaction with startups, companies and Science and Technology institutes makes the company a great engine of innovation, accelerating large value deliveries, in addition to contributing to the development of the innovation ecosystem in the country", analyzes the director of Digital Transformation and Innovation at Petrobras, Nicols Simone.
While the companies that won the 2021 public notice celebrate, startupsselected in previous editions of the program complete their projects and validate their innovative solutions for application in a real operating environment. One example is Unidroid, a company from So Paulo that starts, until January, the field tests of the first firefighting robots for classified areas (with risk of flammable atmosphere) in the world. They were developed especially for Petrobras, based on one of the challenges of the 2020 public notice for the Connections Program. The main objective of the robotic solution is to preserve the brigade's safety. There are two models in development: for offshore and onshore areas, with a flow capacity of 4,500 and 30,000 liters of water per minute, respectively. Robots are also capable of releasing 100 kg of chemical powder. The performance of both is considered superior to that of conventional fire extinguishers and the technology could be implemented next year.
For the engineering director at Unidroid, Jos Carlos de Castro, the partnership with Petrobras was a lever for the business. Petrobras sets the course for technological prospecting for oil around the world and most people don't know it. We are very proud to be part of this process that allowed us to develop an innovative technology that could lead us to be one of the largest robotics companies in the country', he says. The startup CEO, Fernanda Morelli, highlights the support received from Sebrae and the perfect technical mentoring of Petrobras specialists. We met every 15 days to resolve any difficulties. This contributed a lot so that a company like ours, made up of three people, could get here, he says.
The Petrobras Conexes program arose from Petrobras' interest in strengthening its relationship with the innovation ecosystem, especially with startups and small technology-based companies. The investment aims to meet the demands mapped internally at the company and the agile development of solutions with the possibility of being implemented in the oil and gas industry.