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EghtesadOnline: Two knowledge-based companies have signed contracts with Iran’s Research Institute of Petroleum Industry, affiliated with the Oil Ministry,

to inject new technologies in petrochemical sector.

Based on RIPI’s latest news, the institute is planning to work with Azma Sanj Pishro Company (ASP) in Tehran to transfer the knowledge of water- and oil-based nanofluid production, Mehr News Agency reported.

The institute, in return, has committed to provide technical consultation and support, commercialize ASP’s petrochemical products, make research and development investments and expand the tech firm’s market.

The second contract is forged with Toftech company operating in Isfahan, the institution said.

Toftech’s major mission is the manufacture of advanced scientific devices used in laboratories, including mass and ion-mobility spectrometers (IMS).

RIPI intends to join the company to develop the production of IMS and use the device in the analysis of sulfur and mercury compounds and other gaseous and liquid materials for research purposes.

Ion-mobility spectrometry is an analytical technique used to separate and identify ionized molecules in the gas phase based on their mobility in a carrier buffer gas. 

They come in various sizes, ranging from a few millimeters to several meters depending on the specific application and are capable of operating under a broad range of conditions.

Hoping that the collaboration will expedite the upgrading of the key sector, RIPI officials called on interested tech firms for joining the journey and sharing knowledge and facilities.



Technological Boost

Tech developments in oil industries grabbed the spotlight in mid-June when an oil and gas tech park was launched in Tehran with the support of the Vice Presidential Office for Science and Technology.

The park is established over 32 hectares in the former Research Institute of Petroleum Industry’s site in the southern Baqershahr neighborhood of Tehran.

According to the officials, the tech park is aimed at injecting state-of-the-art technology into the domestic petroleum industry and enrich the industry with the know-how generated by universities and research institutes.

It plans to host and support knowledge-based companies and startups for developing smart ideas to upgrade petroleum technologies, develop markets, create jobs and boost their capacities in the key sector.

Tech teams entering the park can enjoy legal and tax exemptions and up to 5 billion rials ($20,700) of seed money supplied by the Iran National Innovation Fund, affiliated with the vice presidential office.

In line with the park project, an oil innovation and research fund was established in Tehran to support knowledge-based companies active in the petroleum sector.

Iran is an energy superpower and its petroleum industry plays an important role in the country’s economy.

In 2012, Iran exported 1.5 million barrels of crude oil per day, becoming the second-largest exporter among the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. In the same year, officials estimated that Iran's annual oil and gas revenues could reach $250 billion by 2015.

However, the industry was disrupted by an international embargo from July 2012 through January 2016. Iran plans to invest $500 billion in the oil sector before 2025.



Startup Investment

In April, Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh announced plans to invest $80 million in startups and knowledge-based firms.

“The ministry is determined to create opportunities for startups so that they can bolster different sectors of the energy industry, especially those manufacturing pipes, turbines and compressors,” he said.

He added that the ministry wants startups to propose new ideas and innovative plans to help cut production costs and improve productivity in the key sector.

The ministry’s R&D Department is tasked with expanding technological facilities for the rapidly expanding startup companies.

Zanganeh opened the first Oil Technology Park in Shahr-e Rey in southern Tehran last year, which is providing financial aid and equipment to researchers for implementing their plans. 

“Startups have already indigenized key catalysts and essential equipment and parts for the petrochemical and drilling sectors,” he said.

According to Mohammad Sadeq Khayyatian, an official with Iran National Innovation Fund, due to its overdependence on oil revenues, Iranian governments did not pay attention to the revenue-generating potential of knowledge-based firms. 

Khayyatian said that has now changed and Iran is increasingly counting on the technology ecosystem for creating wealth and the government is also increasing its financial support to knowledge-based companies.

“The government is planning to offer tax and customs exemptions to high-tech firms, ease the cumbersome process of issuing commercial licenses, cut social security insurance costs, reduce the obligatory military service duration [for tech enthusiasts] and help empower innovative business,” he said.


Tech Petrochem Sector Firms