STRATEGIC PLASTICS RESEARCH STUDY
The clarification of research priorities should enable programmes to be initiated which better match the needs of users, thereby offering improved value for money. The options identified for organisation and control of the research should help ensure that all key issues are addressed whilst minimising the duplication of effort. The wide range of views considered should facilitate the identification of research programmes where collaboration with manufacturers and/or other utilities and industries will add value to outputs.
To identify the strategic research requirements of the Water Industry to support their planned use of plastic pipeline products. To collate Water Industry views on how such research should be organised. To identify specific issues of interest to the Water Industry, where research is considered appropriate.
The Water Industry has had for many years a large investment and interest in the use of plastic pipeline systems, which has been supported by a substantial research activity. However, the end of the existing five-year research funding agreement within the Water Industry is approaching, and the Water Industry is considering future options; there has been a reduction in the influence of British Gas on research and development into plastic pipelines as a result of regulatory pressures, and the European single market is now a reality creating changes to purchasing and standardisation practices. It is therefore timely to review the direction, scope and organisation of Water Industry research to ensure that Water Utilities get maximum benefit from relevant research.
Interviews were conducted with a range of representatives from the Water Industry, regulatory bodies, manufacturers and contractors. Additional information was gathered through seminars and questionnaires. Views expressed have been collated and summarised. Suggestions on how to meet these views have been presented. Contract research by individual clients is not considered here.
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