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Coronavirus: Petrobras and IBP launch public selection to accelerate production of lung ventilators in Brazil

05/28/2020 | 18h35

Faced with the escalation of the new coronavirus pandemic in Brazil, Petrobras joined the Brazilian Institute of Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels (IBP) to increase the availability of mechanical ventilators in the country. In order to leverage the production of this equipment in the short term, the two institutions launched this Thursday, 28/05, a public notice for the selection of ventilator projects, essential to the treatment of critically ill patients with Covid-19. The intention is to support not only clinical research, but also the registration and manufacturing processes for low cost and low complexity ventilators, destined for public hospitals across the country.




The target public of the public notice is universities, science & technology institutions and companies technically qualified to develop the equipment. Interested parties must register their projects in the so-called "first wave", from 28/05 to 2/06, following the instructions indicated in the notice ( /). "We will invest a total of R$ 1 million 400 thousand in this initiative. With the call aimed at universities, companies and research institutions from all over the country, the objective is to allow the participation of a larger universe of developers of respirators", said the leader of the initiative at Petrobras, Luiz Claudio Paschoal.


For IBP, this partnership is of fundamental importance and adds to the industry's efforts to combat the impacts of Covid-19. "IBP bets on science and collaboration as key actions for the future, not only for industry, but on a global scale. Participating in this project motivates us to continue working and generating energy to overcome this crisis", says Cristina Pinho, secretary- general of the IBP.


Accelerated production 

The first set of projects will be supported in the critical stage of moving from so-called in vitro tests (performance tests using artificial lungs) to in vivo tests (with animals and humans). The announcement also provides financing for the serial production of the first batch of 200 fans (including purchase of components and assembly). For this stage, only projects already registered with Anvisa or authorized by the National Commission for Ethics in Research (Conep) for carrying out expanded clinical research may apply.


"We are considering the cost of R $ 5,000 per fan, in the low complexity model, against the average of R$ 50,000 for traditional equipment. Our priority is to help accelerate this production, which is so critical for coping with the disease in Brazil", added Luiz Paschoal, from Petrobras.


The public notice initiative came from Petrobras' Scientific Response Team (ECR), which brings together a team of specialists from the company to develop rapid technological-based solutions to combat the coronavirus. "ECR's objective is to accelerate solutions to help save lives, whether with internal projects, or in partnership with universities, companies and institutions, as in this case. In this sense, the notice is important to help Brazil reduce the deficit of a so fundamental equipment in the treatment of Covid-19, besides contributing to save lives "commented Antonio Vicente de Castro, leader of the scientific response structure.


For the public call, Petrobras technicians also structured the entire bidding process, in addition to providing consultancy in project management - based on the experience acquired in the partnership with Coppe-UFRJ, in the development of low-cost fan prototypes.


The Brazilian Society of Biomedical Engineering (SBEB) and the Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovations and Communications (MCTIC) are supporting the initiative and will participate in the evaluation and selection of projects - jointly with IBP and Petrobras.



Font: T&B Petroleum/Petrobras Agency
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