2015 marked the halfway point for the current Energy Pipelines CRC.
Many of the 52 projects completed up to June 2015 have delivered valuable results, some of which are being adopted into the standards that support the Australian pipeline industry.
Research conducted so far has been innovative and industry focused and has been conducted by groups of high quality researchers spread out over Deakin University, the University of Wollongong, the University of Adelaide and RMIT.
Special thanks must also be given to the hard working industry advisors who voluntarily gave their time and material support to assist in the development of research projects and guided them to completion.
The Energy Pipelines CRC is currently on track to fulfil its commitments set out in 2010 to provide the Australian pipeline industry with focused research that can be adopted into standards and business practices.
This is pleasing and highlights the strong research capabilities that the Energy Pipelines CRC has developed over the years with collaboration between research partners and industry members.
With the launch of the National Innovation and Science Agenda in December 2015, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull called for renewed engagement and greater collaboration between industry and research providers.
The contributions our industry advisors already provide include time, materials, facilities and data samples.
This demonstrates the strong level of engagement and collaboration already evident within the Energy Pipelines CRC.
The Federal Government is also in the process of establishing industry growth centres in areas they see important to the future development of the Australian economy.
The Oil, Gas and Energy Resources Growth Centre, which will be known as the Australian Energy Resources Growth Centre, will be part of this initiative.
This Growth Centre will assist the energy resource sector to boost its competitiveness, productivity and innovative capacity by identifying opportunities to reduce regulatory burden, increasing collaboration and commercialisation, improving capabilities to engage with international markets and global supply chains and enhancing management and workforce skills.
The Energy Pipelines CRC is committed to actively supporting this Growth Centre in its development and operations.
Through consultation with the board, industry representatives from the APGA RSC and the general APGA membership as well as external advisors, it has been agreed that a business plan will be developed to guide the organisation towards its ultimate goal of being a standalone research entity by the end of 2019 when the current government funding ceases.
A new organisation will no doubt bring on new contributors to provide further funding.
Regardless of future contributors, it is important to remember the contributions already made by our current members.
APGA and in particularly RSC, remain crucial to the success of current Energy Pipelines CRC research.
With over 62 industry advisors involved in the 30 active research projects, continued engagement is crucial to ensure that research outcomes present value to industry members and can be easily adopted into current practices.
It is up to both current and future contributors to assess the future challenges of the Australian pipeline industry and the role of the Energy Pipelines CRC in meeting these challenges.
When considering what research and technological breakthroughs over the next 10 years will make a difference to the overall activities of your business, consider what role a standalone Energy Pipelines CRC with its proven capability can play in facilitating that research.
During 2015, expansion into new areas of research such as offshore pipeline guideline development and insight into PE pipe integrity have shown the ability of the Energy Pipelines CRC to build and facilitate research in areas not covered in the original agreement with the Commonwealth while still continuing to provide high quality and relevant research outcomes to its member base.
This is a solid foundation upon which a standalone business can be built to further strengthen the safety and effectiveness of the Australian pipeline industry.
Between now and 2019, the Energy Pipelines CRC will continue to deliver its industry focused research outcomes that have been identified as current challenges for the Australian pipeline industry.
With the Federal government reinvigorating their approach to innovation and research as well the development of a business plan to assist in creating a sustainable organisation beyond 2019, the Energy Pipelines CRC management team are confident that it can continue to provide the same high quality and industry focused research outcomes well beyond 2019.
For more information on the Energy Pipelines CRC visit www.epcrc.com.au