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June 28, 2019 / Robert Newton
Category: CEO's Update 

CEO's Update June 2019

Click here to download the final edition of the Energy Pipelines CRC Newsletter.

Friday 28th June marks the official end of CRC funded activities for Energy Pipelines CRC.

There is still plenty to do before we wind up the company. Between 30 June and 31 October, we are required to prepare our final Annual Report to the Commonwealth and our final accounts for approval by our Members. Additionally, we plan to release our legacy book and legacy website. There is also the need for considerable housekeeping.

It does not seem that long ago that we were planning our first iteration of our Transition Plan. I can still hear our Chairman’s words “What are we preparing a Transition Plan for when we have just started?” (there are a few words that I deliberately left out but this was the gist of his statement).

Nearly 9 years have passed since then and we have completed 104 CRC funded research projects and a number of non-CRC funded projects in that time. We have also prepared over 280 research reports and industry guidelines and given approximately 200 presentations.

It would be great to say that we have been 100% successful in our endeavours but we have not. Research by its very nature has substantial risks and, in many streams, has a high failure rate. We have been fortunate that most of our research activities have been successful and have substantially increased the knowledge of the pipeline sector over the past 9+ years. We recognise that we cannot please everyone despite our best endeavours. We hope that the majority of our stakeholders are happy overall.

We plan to prepare a final note in September to provide a short summary of our outcomes since establishment and to thank those who have been actively engaged with the Energy Pipelines CRC during its lifetime.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Matt who will be moving on after September. As our Communications Officer, Matt was the driving force behind the development and maintenance of our website. Amongst his other tasks, he has been the publisher of our monthly newsletter and has been a great support to Steve Dobbie in organising the RSC meetings and preparing the minutes of those meetings. We wish him well for the future.

As we now wind back our activities and prepare for the transition of residual funds, assets and publications to Future Fuels CRC, it is worth reflecting on what is needed to make a CRC successful:

  • There must be a compelling need. Those who drove the development of the CRC bid had identified a series of compelling needs for research to solve a number of industry issues.
  • The research must be industry led and industry focussed. It does not mean that it is industry owned; rather, industry are leading the activities from program and project design to utilisation of outcomes.
  • It must be research. A CRC’s role is not to solve industry disputes – the activities must be driven by the need for research.
  • Research must be collaborative. That is, it is expected that industry advisors and researchers will work together to attempt to resolve the issues. It is not expected that the advisors will do the research, but they must be intimately involved in the project and leading the direction.
  • Education must be a key component of the activities.
  • There must be a material benefit to the Australian economy through increased revenue, reduced costs, improved safety, etc.
  • The request for Government funding is to support the cash funding and in-kind support to be provided (it cannot be the principal funding for the program).

A few other additional matters to consider:

  • The program needs at least one “champion”. It is important that there are key individuals – from industry, research, and within the CRC management – who will champion the work;
  • For a long term CRC, there is a need for renewal of the supporter base – bring along the next generation of advisors to steering committee and project committee meetings and to the dissemination seminars and encourage them to be more involved with the CRC;
  • Be prepared to stop or vary projects that will not achieve the expected outcomes. It is better to regroup if a project cannot produce what you are seeking than to allow it to continue to no conclusion;
  • Regularly review the program of work against your original plans and amend / update where necessary. Note, however, that under the CRC funding arrangements, variations to the program of work require Commonwealth approval and this process may take some time.

On behalf of the Energy Pipelines CRC, I wish to thank everyone for their continued support from commencement to conclusion. I trust that this has been very rewarding for you and that you will continue your great work with the Future Fuels CRC.

Sincerely,

Robert


Inaugural Chair Jim McDonald with the Hon. Richard Marles MP at the official Launch of the Energy Pipelines CRC. 8th June 2010.

Image: Inaugural Chair Jim McDonald with the Hon. Richard Marles MP at the official Launch of the Energy Pipelines CRC. 8th June 2010.

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