10 August 2021 - 11:33
  • News Code: 319638
Petroleum Industry Innotech Park Launched

TEHRAN (Shana) -- The Petroleum Industry Innotech Park, which has been established under the aegis of the Petroleum Ministry with a view to developing technology and broadening constructive cooperation between the players of innovation and technology ecosystems, has started work. The ceremony for the inauguration of the park was attended by Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh, Vice President for Science and Technology Sourena Sattari and a group of senior oil industry managers and research and technology actors.

Addressing the ceremony, Zangeneh said the Petroleum Ministry had earmarked $500 million for the revival of low-efficient or non-efficient wells to create thousands of jobs and activate startups.

He also laid emphasis on the need for enhanced oil production by Iran.

Erected on 32 hectares of land near Tehran Oil Refinery, the Innotech Park is a state-owned and non-profit entity aimed at development of technologies associated with the petroleum industry at universities, R&D institutes, private companies and market as well as facilitating the process of knowledge-based companies through incubators, accelerators and centers of innovation.

The Innotech Park is an R&D institute falling under Article 1 of Law on Permanent Directives for National Development Plans. Seeking to upgrade and deepen technology, develop the market, promote knowledge-based economy and create specialized jobs, it provides an ideal atmosphere for professional synergism between small and medium-sized technology companies, technological centers of leading companies, specialized agencies of academic and non-academic R&D entities, incubators and accelerators, venture capitalists, innovation commissioners and industrial mentors. It complements existing capacities in the scientific and technological infrastructure in the oil and gas sector.

The Innotech Park clears the way for development of constructive cooperation between technology and innovation actors in this sector and the technological companies based in this park and other parks of science and technology, as well as active technological centers in the country.

Startups Set Future for Iran

In his speech, Zangeneh said startups would be among future projects for Iran, adding: “I will try my best in favor of development of this through youths who are prospective capitals.”

Noting that entrepreneurs constituted the most important factor in the success of industrial, service and economic development in the country, the minister said: “An entrepreneur and creative mind enjoys a higher status than a manager. An entrepreneur may bring about success or failure. Generally speaking, the youths are entrepreneur and creative. Age is not important. Vision is the key Factor.”

Recalling that during his mandate as minister of petroleum he had taken some measures to help develop technology, Zangeneh said: “The most important issue is the management’s vision of technology and its development. In the first step for technological development, we held talks with prestigious universities like the Sharif University of Technology and the University of Shiraz in order to introduce upstream petroleum industry as a university discipline whose main subject is enhanced production based on enhanced recovery. We have no problem with education now and competent forces have been trained.”

Zangeneh said the following step in the development of technology in the petroleum industry was to take into consideration operational capacities. He added: “Activation of consulting engineers and manufacturers, establishment of general contractor companies, and E&P companies is the outcome of paying attention to the operational capacities which are part of technological assets in the country.”

Noting that the final step in the development of technology would be to use new ideas emerging in the world, the minister said: “I wish the idea of establishment of the Innotech Park had struck our mind three years ago. It’s late, but we did our best.”

“I plan to spend part of my future life as an expert or mentor for developing startups and technological units because it is very important for the country and the petroleum industry. Of course, there is a weak understanding of these centers,” he said.

The minister stressed that the Innotech Park had been established focusing on the demand side rather than the supply side.

$70bn in Energy Subsidies

Zangeneh said a major weakness in the country pertained to downhole services like horizontal drilling. Noting that two leading countries were active in this field in the world, he said: “The only solution having struck my mind in this regard was to upgrade small startups to grow. It would not take too much time and we can claim the top spot in the region and in Asia in 8 to 10 years.”

The minister also touched on energy efficiency plans, adding that calculations showed that $70 billion was being allocated in annual subsidy to the energy sector. Outlining the details, he said: “The domestic consumption of liquid products stands at 1.5 mb/d or 540 mb/yr. If we set an oil barrel at $65 that would amount to about $35 billion.”

“Our raw gas production stands at 300 bcm/yr. The figure would fall to 240 bcm after refining and desalination. With gas prices at 16-17 cents per cubic meters, it would amount to $37 billion,” he added.

Zangeneh stressed the need for the presence of startups in energy efficiency schemes, adding: “That would help create tens of thousands of jobs directly or indirectly. Every party – the government, manufacturers and consumers – would be beneficiary. That is just like gas supply which everyone benefited from.”

Oil Output Hike a Must

Zangeneh said the Iranian Oil Industry Ventures (IOIV) had been launched with an initial capital of IRR 1,000 billion, adding efforts were under way to raise the capital to IRR 5,000 billion.

He said the Iranian parliament had adopted legislation requiring allocation of IRR 8,000 billion to startups.

The minister said the policies instructed in 1998 required oil production hike not just for generating revenue, rather for increasing the political, economic and security power of Iran in the region.

“When we export 1 mb/d of oil while our next-door neighbor exports 10 mb/d, the balance would be disrupted. We don’t have too much time for raising our output and we have to do it very quickly. Of course, we have already laid the groundwork for that purpose and drafted reports to be used by anyone who might be interested in,” he said.

Private Investment in Research

Vice President Sattari said at the ceremony that private investment in the research sector of the petroleum industry was a must.

“We cannot expect the public sector to supply products. That is not the case anywhere in the world. Today, the private sector’s investment in research projects associated with the petroleum industry is a must,” he said.

“Wherever the private sector is to invest, we should not run research projects,” he added.

Sattari stressed that an ecosystem should be established for research development, adding that startups should provide manpower for such ecosystems.

“We need to pave the ground for startups to show their innovation. Technology companies may provide such opportunity,” he said.

€6.5mn for 2 Petro-Refineries

Ali Aqa-Mohammadi, member of the Expediency Council, underscored the necessity of development in the petroleum industry, calling for the absorption of more knowhow and technology into the oil and gas industry.

“Currently, two petro-refineries are under construction with a €6.5mn investment,” he said.

Aqa-Mohammadi said that selling oil did not mean selling raw materials. He added: “We are well aware of oil and gas production capacities in the country. Therefore, investment in the petrochemical projects of the upstream sector has been done fully and in the 7th National Development Plan, the idea is to complete the downstream sector.”

Aqa-Mohammadi went on to highlight comprehensive studies conducted in line with oil production capacity in the country, saying: “Fortunately, extensive and justified scientific research is under way by petroleum industry experts and universities. Some research estimate Iran’s oil production capacity at 6.5 mb/d while others put it at 7.4 mb/d. All estimates rely on scientific and expert work.”

“Based on these scientific findings, with an investment of $120 billion to achieve the production capacity of 7.4 mb/d, we can earn $1,500 billion. That would be the most important source of development of the petroleum industry in the future. But it should not enter the state economy,” he said.

Aqa-Mohammadi also said that the launch of the Innotech Park showed that major capacities were being formed in Iran’s petroleum industry, whose main objective would be to attract national investment. He added that development of advanced and modern technologies in the petroleum industry would lay the groundwork for a strong presence in the global markets.

Tech Companies Facility

Aidin Khatlan, director of the Innotech Park, said: “The activity of technological companies operating in the sectors related to the petroleum industry would be facilitated.”

He said it was the fourth independent organ affiliated with the Petroleum Ministry after the Research Institute of Petroleum Industry (RIPI), Petroleum University of Technology (PUT) and the Institute for International Energy Studies (IIES).

Khatlan said like the trio, the Innotech Park was owned by National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC). He added that the Board of Trustees of the park was chaired by Minister of Petroleum.

Referring to the Innotech Park’s Board of Trustees, he said it comprised four real and five legal persons nominated by the Minister of Petroleum.

“In light of the nature of the park, we have tried to name the CEOs of the largest customers of the petroleum industry technology in the Board of Trustees. Representatives of the Ministry of Science, Research and Technology as well as Plan and Budget Organization constitute the legal members,” he said.

History

Khatlan also touched on the history of formation of the Innotech Park, saying: “The idea of this park dates back to 2019. After surveys, it was located in October that year and an agreement was signed for designing the park in February 2020. In March 2020, NIOC filed a request with the Ministry of Science, Research and Technology for the establishment of the park.”

He said the permission for the establishment of the park was issued in September 2020 by the Council for Higher Education Planning. The Constitution of the Innotech Park was communicated last February, he said. Zangeneh named Khatlan as the director of the Innotech Park in November 2020.

Khatlan said parks enjoyed such legal exemptions as tax exemption, noting that it would facilitate the activity of technology companies located in the Innotech Park.

“The Innotech Park would provide up to IRR 5,000 million directly in facilities to the technological units. At higher levels, it would offer support through IOIV that had been established before the park,” he said.

He said that of 44 parks in the country, 42 were involved in technology supply and two in technology demand.

“The two parks on the demand side include ICT affiliated with the Ministry of Communications and the Innotech Park affiliated with the Petroleum Ministry. Both have been established in line for meeting technological needs,” said Khatlan.

He said technological parks would be complementary to universities and research institutes in addition to serving as a bridge connecting research and market.

“The Innotech Park belongs to the petroleum industry. In other words, one outstanding feature of this park is its affiliation with the Petroleum Ministry and NIOC. NIOC is the founding organ of the Innotech Park,” he said.

Khatlan said the Innotech Park provided a venue for introducing the technological needs of the subsidiaries of the Petroleum Ministry, the Persian Gulf Petrochemical Industries Company (PGPIC), refineries and petrochemical plants. “Helping overcome impediments to technological companies in production through removal of financing problems, granting standards, setting up reference labs, better and easier access to sampling workshops and labs top the agenda of the park.”

Khatlan said: “In the park, we believe that with patience we will be able to manufacture many products which we are now importing. Today, many clients and manufacturers have changed sanctions' threats to opportunities to boost technology, and the Innotech Park is trying to say that more youths may become active in the petroleum industry, manufacture products and upgrade the level of technology.”

5 Memorandums Signed

On the sidelines of the inauguration of the Innotech Park, five agreements were signed on technology. They were signed with Ministry of Science, Research and Technology, Isfahan Scientific and Research Park, University of Shiraz, Iran University of Science and Technology and Amir Kabir University of Technology.

The first agreement was a technological grant agreement that was signed between the Innotech Park and the Ministry of Science, Research and Technology. The agreement for the establishment of a joint college was signed between Innotech Park and Isfahan Scientific and Research Park. Three agreements on establishment of joint incubators and innovation centers were signed between the Innotech Park on one side, and University of Shiraz, Iran University of Science and Technology and Amir Kabir University of Technology, on the other.

 Courtesy of Iran Petroleum

News Code 319638

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