Petrobras ramps up investments in startups with a new tender

Brazil’s oil giant Petrobras is launching a new tender for the selection of startups under its innovation program Conexões para Inovação, earmarking investments for this year of 27mn reais (US$5.23mn).

The contest is the second under the latest module of the programme. Called Aquisição de Soluções, the federal company looks to select projects in the areas of robotics, inspection technologies and digital technologies, among others.

Petrobras has 6mn reais earmarked for the contest for solutions in artificial intelligence, inspection technologies and modeling/simulation, according to a release.

Applications are open until September 9 from local and international companies. Each one selected will receive up to 1.6mn reais per proposal for the development and testing of solutions in productive environments.

The selection process includes a pre-assessment of the project by a panel of experts, followed by a technical mentoring phase aimed at improving the work plan and the business model, according to the company.

“The goal of this module is to periodically launch smaller sets of challenges, increasing the frequency of [Petrobras’] interaction with the innovation ecosystem,” it said in the statement.

Further details on the new call and on the innovation program can be found here.

In parallel to the new tender, Petrobras extended the deadline of a previous call, launched in June, and the deadline for application is now August 22.


A first call under the program’s Aquisição de Soluções module, launched in 2021, led to the hiring of seven companies by Petrobras.

These are:

Tech area




Lume Robotics

Espírito Santo

Digital technologies


Espírito Santo

Digital technologies


São Paulo

Digital technologies


São Paulo

Digital technologies


São Paulo

Digital technologies by OWN GmbH


Digital technologies


Rio de Janeiro

All contracts were inked under a flexible contractual framework called public contract for innovative solutions (known as the CPSI). These are valid for up to one year and can be extended for one more.

After that, the solution with the best performance and which has been shown to add value to Petrobras’ business can be contracted for a period of two years, renewable for another two, for scale gains.

“These two phases together speed up the implementation of solutions in the company and the consolidation of new suppliers in the market,” said Petrobras.

In addition to investments in startups through the innovation program, Petrobras has over 3bn reais worth in projects already contracted with more than 150 technological partners, in different types of contracting and cooperation agreements.

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