According to medical researchers, one of the benefits of conducting clinical trials in Australia is that local patients can access the latest treatments three to five years earlier than if the trials were conducted overseas.
Similarly, the benefits of being a member of APGA’s Research and Standards Committee (APGA-RSC) include having immediate access to locally relevant research results that can make pipelines safer and more efficient, and give member companies a competitive advantage.
Established in the early-80s and formalised within APGA in 1996, the APGA-RSC is a separately funded APGA Standing Committee which raises funds from member companies to support research critical to the ongoing safety and reliability of pipelines. The research focuses on improving the safety and reliability of pipelines and reducing the costs of pipeline design, construction and operations. In addition to direct funding, APGA-RSC’s member companies also contribute valuable in-kind support that, in recent years, has brought the total value of its research program to more than $2 million per year.
Critically, APGA-RSC works closely with the pipeline committees of Standards Australia to ensure research results can be quickly applied to the industry’s highly respected national standard, Australian Standard AS2885 – for the benefit of the industry and wider community.
On 8 June 2010 a campaign led by APGA-RSC culminated in the official opening of the Energy Pipelines Cooperative Research Centre (see below). A partnership of the APGA-RSC, the University of Adelaide, the University of Wollongong, Deakin University and the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, the Energy Pipelines CRC will receive more than $17 million in Australian Government funding over the next decade. A further $10 million has been provided by APGA-RSC members, with more than $50 million of in-kind support being provided by the universities and industry (predominantly from APGA and APGA-RSC members).
Whilst the Energy Pipelines CRC has created partnerships in government and academia, pipeline research remains industry-driven. APGA-RSC is still the primary avenue for our industry to determine its research priorities and APGA-RSC members are advisers to the research programs being conducted by the Energy Pipeline CRC.
Even in the earliest days of the APGA-RSC, the members recognised the benefits of international collaboration and developed a formal relationship with the world’s leading pipeline research organisations – the US-based Pipeline Research Council International and the European Pipeline Research Group. APGA’s links with these organisations were formalised, allowing RSC members confidential access to pipeline research undertaken by North American and European researchers, helping to reduce duplication of research efforts by all groups. The three research organisations also meet biennially at a Joint Technical Meeting to share results, discuss issues and determine future research priorities for the industry.
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The Energy Pipelines Cooperative Research Centre is one of around 40 active CRCs (and one of seven CRCs looking at mining and manufacturing) funded under the Australian Government’s Cooperative Research Centre program, administered by the Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education.
The CRCs operate across all sectors, including climate change and environmental sustainability, healthcare, social inclusion, information technology, engineering, finance and agribusiness.
The CRC program helps to fund partnerships between industry, industry associations, universities, federal and state government agencies, public research organisations, non‐government organisations and regional development corporations, as well as international partners, to conduct research aimed at addressing major challenges facing Australia.
Importantly, research priorities are identified by the end-users of the research, primarily industry, and resulting innovations can be practically adopted by businesses and communities.
CRC-generated collaboration produces a critical mass of research resources that can help support new industries and improve Australia’s competitive advantage.
For more information on this program visit www.crc.gov.au
 Australasian Gastro-Intestinal Trials Group, Fact Sheet