The RSC’s member companies contribute valuable in-kind support that brings the value of its research program to well in excess of $A1 million per year.
Member companies of the RSC cover almost every aspect of the pipeline industry and each has the opportunity to put forward research projects for the RSC’s consideration. If the RSC considers the project to be worthwhile – that is, it addresses operational problems, solves design issues, offers innovation that will reduce costs or increases safety and represents value for money – it will seek research proposals on the project from universities, private researchers or government organisations such as CSIRO or ANSTO. The RSC then appoints one of its members with the appropriate skills and experience to be a Lead Industry Adviser who assembles a team of other members to supervise the project. Upon final approval by the RSC with input from the Lead Industry Adviser, a recommendation is put to the APIA Board for approval of expenditure.
The APIA office, in association with the Lead Industry Adviser and Chairman of the RSC, prepares a contract that defines both the financial and technical requirements of the research project. The contract sets out a list of deliverables and a corresponding set of payment milestones. APIA then enters into a contract with the research organisation.
The RSC meets around five times a year and receives reports on progress of each project from the Lead Industry Advisers to keep projects on track. A forum is held twice a year to report on the results of each project to member companies. Many of the members of the RSC use the forums as a means of training staff and send a number of representatives to learn about the latest developments in pipeline technology and to discuss common problems with their peers.Article continues below…
The RSC expects each member company to participate in the management of research projects. This provides further training opportunities for staff.
Reports from each research project are placed on a page of the APIA’s web site which is accessible only to members of the RSC.
In 2001 Max Kimber, the Chairman of the RSC since 1996, negotiated an information sharing arrangements and a Memorandum of Understanding with the world’s leading pipeline research organisations, the US-based Pipeline Research Council International (PRCI) and the European Pipeline Research Group (EPRG). These links allow the RSC to gain confidential access to leading pipeline research in North America and Europe and to avoid duplication.
Every two years the three research organisations, APIA RSC, PRCI and EPRG, meet at a Joint Technical Meeting (JTM) to share the results of their research on a confidential basis. APIA RSC is to host such a meeting in April 2007.
The RSC has done a number of studies to assess the value of its research, and, while it is difficult to be precise, it has estimated that the savings to the Australian community since 1996 exceed $A300 million as a result of the innovations in technology, methods and materials derived from the APIA RSC research program.