Rio Oil & Gas 2020 starts with discussions on innovation and the importance of startups for the O&G industry | ROG.e 2024

Rio Oil & Gas 2020 starts with discussions on innovation and the importance of startups for the O&G industry


Rio de Janeiro, December 1 – Rio Oil & Gas 2020 started this Monday (11/30) with Starting Up, debate sessions in partnership with Petrobras on the opportunities and challenges for startups in the O&G industry and energy. Starting Up was hosted by journalist specialized in digital, Pedro Doria, and closed by IBP president, Clarissa Lins.

The panels brought discussions on how the O&G industry can be attractive to entrepreneurs, the opportunities for startups generated by the segment and how integration between the O&G chain and startups has taken place, aiming at building ecosystems. Moreover, cases of successful startups were presented and shared with entrepreneurs who are just beginning, as well as lessons learned about this market.

Juliano Dantas, executive manager of Petrobras-Cenpes, stated that whatever the company’s strategy will be, it will be very important to accelerate innovation processes, and certainly, startups have a fundamental role in this context, as they work with speed and new talents and bring a new way of thinking to the traditional industry. ”For this to actually happen, we have to build an ecosystem that allows new forms of contract between major players and startups, in addition to engaging companies with this purpose of innovation,” he said.

Gustavo Araújo, CEO of Distrito, which brings together one of the startup ecosystem in Brazil, spoke about the power of open innovation. “The market is learning that staying connected and linked to what is happening around it is the engine for its own transformation. Open innovation ends up being very efficient in a world where companies have to transform quickly,” he said.

When reviewing the financial market, for example, before opening up to Fintechs, two thirds of the Brazilian population had no bank account, according to Araújo. Fintechs reduced that rate to 25%. “We can also experience open energy, in a very regulated market. This will lead to improved customer service and lower production costs. So, exercising open innovation is fundamental in the O&G industry, which already has a lot of technology, but now needs to start innovating in its business models, customer service, following other segments”, he added.

Claudia Diniz, Executive Director of MiningHub, the world’s first open innovation hub in the mining industry, explained that startups work as a real pillars of transformation in the segment, by employing new technologies for the operational and administrative areas. “It is a cultural change. We take the challenges of our industry and talk to all players, including suppliers, researchers and startups, to quickly reach solutions to problems common to mining companies. The knowledge generated, that is, the intellectual property of the projects, remains belonging to startups and, thus, we encourage entrepreneurship and the permanence of these companies in the market”, he said.  

“I believe that we, like IBP, must encourage this type of hub to be created in the O&G industry, as we are a collaboration platform,” said Clarissa Lins, president of IBP.

At the end of the discussion, Christian Schock, director of O&G at Siemens, brought some tips of what the company is already doing to contribute to the decarbonization of the oil and gas industry, looking ahead. “It is important to make it clear that we will not be doing the entire energy transition process from day to night. If we look at history, all the transitions took approximately 50 years and now it will be no different, since 80% of the global energy is still based on hydrocarbons and the demand will increase by 40% in the next two decades. The O&G industry has always been one of great innovation. With the decarbonization wave it will be no different and I believe it will be even more accelerated. Innovation is a major focus for Siemens and; therefore, we encourage startups to develop solutions for our partners ”, he concluded.

Creating opportunities for entrepreneurship

Mediated by Robert Nunes, General Manager of Digital Transformation at Petrobras, the panel “Creating opportunities for entrepreneurship in the O&G and Energy Industry” also aimed at discussing some of the challenges of the partnership between startups and industry companies, in addition to how this cooperation has evolved over the years, over time. Patrícia Grabowsky, Head of Innovation at Subsea 7, Pedro Leal Noce, Innovation Executive at Raízen, Fred Arruda, CEO of the Center for Advanced Studies and Systems of Recife (Cesar), Bruno Rondani, CEO at Open 100 startups participated in the discussion.

The afternoon also included representatives from startups that already work in the O&G area and are escalating to a chat about inspiring cases and lessons learned.

“Ultimately, it is not a question of having good technology, but of a mature market for technology, and the mature market for technology is not like a perfect wave. It is a turbulent and violent tsunami”, explained Duperron Ribeiro, CEO of PhDsoft Technology Inc.

Leandro Basílio, CEO at DeepSeed Solutions, stressed the importance of keeping focus, even if there is portfolio diversification. “It is very seductive, at times, to diversify into various industries, with the promise of scalability, but keep in mind that, in an oil and gas business, you will only be able to stand out if you really become an expert”, he defended.

Mediated by Alex Dal Pont, Manager of Innovation in Entrepreneurial Ecosystems at Petrobras, the round was also attended by Lelio Souza, CEO of Intelie, and José Augusto da Silva, CEO of Pipeway.


The program also included the Startups Pitch. Evaluated by a strong jury, such as Amure Pinho, president of ABStartups, and Ricardo Marquini, Leader of R&D partnerships at Total, among others, eight startups presented their technology and innovation projects for the O&G industry. The winners of this challenge were: Unidroid, first, followed by Instoor and RZX, second and third, respectively. The startups won a prize sponsored by Microsoft, and the best startup voted by the public, won a discount voucher on courses from UnIBP, the university in the oil and gas industry.

All the content for the first day of Rio Oil & Gas will be available in full to congress members on the platform’s On Demand channel.