4 ways to make Canada a leader in pipeline innovation

This is the final post in a two part blog series about the Canadian Pipeline Technology Collaborative.

Pipeline in-line inspection tool

What Canadian resources do you associate with pipelines? Probably oil and gas, right? But there’s another abundant resource we would like associated with the word pipelines – the innovative minds of Canada’s academics.

Last week, we told you about the newly formed Canadian Pipeline Technology Collaborative (CPTC) and how it’s harnessing the power of this country’s strong research community to develop pipeline technologies that will make energy transportation safer.

“We have an amazing applied R&D capacity in Canada,” said Richard Wayken, CEO of the CPTC. “We are now looking to put it to use Canada wide.”

This week, we want to tell you four ways the CPTC plans on helping Canada become a world leader in technology development with the help of this country’s brilliant academic community.

1. Gather the best minds together 

The CPTC has formed an academic research network to champion pipeline research in three areas of priority: integrity managementleak detection and spill response.

This network already boasts researchers from 12 post-secondary institutions located across the country (we’re talking coast to coast – University of British Columbia to Dalhousie University) and will include academics from a variety of disciplines.

2. Get the best minds working together

Through the CPTC’s new academic network, pipeline researchers will be able to share research and work collaboratively to solve “challenges” that are put forward by the CPTC and based on the three areas of priority.

“Canada has a very intelligent, highly innovative academic community with significant capacity,” explained Wayken.

The CPTC wants to focus that capacity on developing technologies that will make the most difference in terms of pipeline safety, integrity and environmental performance.

“We will be able to say, ‘Here is the challenge,’ and from this, new ideas and concepts will emerge,” Wayken said.

3. Move pipeline technologies from research to development to deployment

Big ideas can’t make a big difference if they never leave the lab. The CPTC will work to connect Canada’s research community with applied research centres and eventually investors, suppliers and pipeline operators, so ideas can move quickly from discovery to market adoption. “By bringing governments, industry and the technology community at large together to address the challenges and priorities of the sector, we are truly collaborating and shortening the technology to market time frame,” explains Wayken. Here’s a chart showing how this process works.

CPTC innovation curve chart

4.  Develop world class pipeline experts

By stoking the fires of pipeline innovation, the CPTC will also be helping Canada develop highly qualified researchers along with important technologies. Those talented minds will become scientific authorities on pipeline research on an international level and will help Canada continuously grow its expertise.

“(The CPTC) is about getting technology to market faster, with a key component being our ability to ensure we also capture the outputs from doing the work – like developing high quality people,” said Wayken.

Read more about the CPTC in this post:

For more information, email info@thecptc.ca.

The Canadian Energy Pipeline Association represents Canada’s transmission pipeline companies who operate approximately 117,000 kilometres of pipelines in Canada. In 2014, these energy highways moved approximately 1.2 billion barrels of liquid petroleum products and 5.4 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Our members transport 97 per cent of Canada’s daily natural gas and onshore crude oil from producing regions to markets throughout North America.