Petrobras’ $600 Million Innovation Program Includes Open Source


Under its Conexes para an Inovaço (Connections for Innovation) program, Brazil’s Petrobras will rely on open code software, also known as open source, for the co-development of technologies. According to the federal oil company, the program, which was launched in 2019, has a portfolio of 3 billion reais (US$616 million) in projects contracted to date, with over 150 technological partners. Conexes is divided into seven modules, the seventh of which is the recently released open source Open Lab. In contrast to proprietary software, open source refers to software or an application that allows anyone to access or change the code – and thus more freely build solutions on top of it.

“The open source model is one of the main trends in the development of digital technologies. It brings the possibility of interaction of our specialists with an unrestricted number of collaborators, on a global scale, simultaneously discussing and improving an idea, based on different expertise,” Petrobras’ digital transformation and innovation director, Juliano Dantas, said in a statement.

“It also gives the opportunity to talented people to contribute to the global challenges of the oil and gas industry, competitively entering the sector.”

Open Lab, like previous modules, is aimed at students, programmers, engineers, data scientists, and other technology professionals, as well as startups and science and technology institutions from Brazil and around the world. The company hopes to gain more agility in the development of digital solutions through co-creation in open coding, as well as generate new knowledge and reduce costs.

Petrobras announced its participation in GitHub, the world’s largest open source development platform with 36 million users, in order to attract developers. According to the company, developers and businesses will be able to participate in the Open Lab module via repositories (databases) hosted on Petrobras’ institutional account on GitHub. Each repository will be associated with a project, as well as goals and challenges to be met.

Petrobras’s first project on GitHub is for machine learning. The goal is to detect unforeseen events in the operation of oil wells in advance, improving operational efficiency and lowering CO2 emissions.


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