Feature Op-Ed by Daniel Moczydlower, president of Embraer Systems
September 12, 2014 841 0
Rio, the meeting point of Energy and Technology
The recent announcement that oil production from the pre-salt reserves in Brazil has already surpassed 500,000 barrels per day, in a far shorter timeframe than recorded in the oil provinces in the Gulf of Mexico and the North Sea, is promising news for the energy sector – as well as for technology. At the end of the day, overcoming technological challenges makes oil production feasible in deep and ultra-deep waters, also ensuring it meets the most rigorous standards in terms of both safety and environmental protection, and is very often compared to sending man to the moon and other planets in terms of the complexity and difficulty involved.
It is also the enormous and continued efforts in areas of technological development and training that represent the foundations of the Technological Park at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. The installation of Petrobras’ Research Center (CENPES), and more specifically with Petrobras launching its Program for Technological Qualifications in Deep Waters (PROCAP), in the eighties, are among the initiatives that have provided the means to gather the knowledge necessary to make the exploration for oil in such a difficult environment to access viable. This accumulation of knowledge is not limited to just one company, as it effectively filters throughout the local and global chains of suppliers and partners, and the academic world.
The new frontier reached tapping the pre-salt reserves – and the gigantic scale of the challenge involved in doubling national oil production within just ten years – have provided the industry with an enormous incentive to make new technological breakthroughs. In addition to this is the necessity to simultaneously maintain the more mature oil fields in production efficiently, such as in the Campos Basin, as they depend on older installations, and still have to meet the safety and reliability norms and standards that are becoming increasingly tight, thus increasing the demand for innovation.
It is in this challenging environment that Embraer arrives in Rio de Janeiro this year, with its new Embraer Sistemas Business Unit. In-line with the global trend for technological convergence, that is to say, the increase in technological interexchange between different industries and economic sectors, we believe in solutions that can be transferred or adapted between one industry and another, accelerating the process of innovation with the risks involved kept under tight control, thereby generating potential leaps in efficiency and competitiveness.
Embraer Sistemas sees Rio de Janeiro as a meeting point between the challenges faced in the energy sector and the opportunities to develop knowledge and technology, in an ecosystem where the trend is to expand the collaboration between large companies, academia and startups.
The magazine Economia Rio was also started in this environment of potential growth, promoting an interesting and necessary debate about the paths that Rio and Brazil need to take to guarantee that all these opportunities can be taken advantage of, and that society as a whole also benefits as a result. We wish a full and long life to this new forum.
Daniel Moczydlower is president of Embraer Sistemas Business Unit