The Bartlett School of Sustainable Construction


The PPP Initiative and The Bartlett announce Joint Centre for Public-Private Partnerships

19 February 2021

The PPP Initiative (PPPI) and The Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment at UCL are pleased to announce the formation of the Joint Centre for Public-Private Partnerships.

UCL campus

Focusing on global infrastructure, the Joint Centre is dedicated to preparing a new generation of professionals to address the most pressing policy challenges of our time using public-private partnerships.

The world today confronts a host of complex, costly public policy challenges. Healthcare crises like non-communicable diseases, aging populations, and Covid-19 each threaten to overwhelm existing healthcare structures. And a changing climate has forced governments around the world to reconsider current approaches to transportation, energy production, and urban development. Increasingly, public-private partnerships (PPPs) have been used to combine the relative strengths of both the public and private sectors, enabling overextended governments to do more with less. But while their advantages are many, PPPs can also be challenging. Solutions must be negotiated, and conflicts of interest must be managed.

Enter the Joint Centre for Public-Private Partnerships. The Joint Centre combines The Bartlett's world-renowned emphasis on multidisciplinary study with the PPP Initiative’s economics-driven approach to complex public policy issues. For nearly two decades, the PPP Initiative (PPPI) has studied public-private partnerships and educated students in their use across a variety of formats. By combining PPPI’s significant body of research and educational experience with The Bartlett’s unique capacity to attract talent, marshal resources, and institutionalize complex curricula, the Joint Centre will accelerate The Bartlett’s expansion into healthcare and empower students to use public-private partnerships effectively and sustainably. Furthermore, the Joint Centre will act as a convening mechanism, bringing together high-level stakeholders from the public, private, academic, and multilateral sectors to promote open dialogues and ultimately facilitate cross-sector collaboration.

This strategic partnership has been made possible by the leadership and vision of The Bartlett School of Construction and Project Management Director Professor D’Maris Coffman, PPPI President Alan M. Trager, and MSc Infrastructure Investment and Finance Deputy Programme Director Dr Carter B. Casady. Professor Trager will serve as Chair of the Centre’s Advisory Board, and as an Honorary Professor at UCL. Dr Casady will serve as the Centre’s Academic Director. Startup funding has been generously provided by Amgen, Inc., a major donor to PPPI.

The Bartlett School of Construction and Project Management Director Professor D’Maris Coffman commented:

“We at BSCPM are thrilled to be launching this vital partnership which will work to build essential capacity in the delivery of public-private partnerships in the health care space globally. It’s hard to think of a more urgent priority amidst the global pandemic.”

The Joint Centre will develop a new curriculum for graduate and executive education courses, emphasizing the frameworks, skills, motivations and incentives that underpin successful public-private partnerships. This curriculum will be rooted in the foundational PPP courses pioneered by Professor Trager—first at Harvard Kennedy School, the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, and Stanford’s Leadership Academy for Development, and later refined through partnerships with National University of Singapore and Tsinghua University. The Joint Centre’s curriculum will combine The Bartlett’s focus on infrastructure investment, finance, and governance with PPPI’s years of research and teaching experience. It will be developed collaboratively with Dr Casady, and will focus on the preparation, engagement, and value creation associated with successful PPPs.

In its initial stages, the Centre’s main focus will be on one of the world’s most pressing infrastructure challenges: healthcare. The Bartlett is keen to expand its programming to include healthcare as a key infrastructure category, preparing a new generation of public- and private-sector professionals to develop efficient, transparent, and effective healthcare PPPs. In the process, the Joint Centre will seek to expand global understanding of healthcare to include not only medical, scientific, and public health issues, but economic and infrastructure issues as well.

The Joint Centre is attracting top-level talent from around the globe, drawing from the worlds of investment, planning, finance, management, science, and engineering. Its Advisory Board will bring together talented advisors from the public, private, and academic sectors to help guide the Centre strategically and intellectually. 

At a time when infrastructure needs are greater and more urgent than ever, PPPs offer the potential for innovative new solutions. The Joint Centre will address the policy, development, investment, and management considerations associated with delivering effective and sustainable public-private partnerships.

Visit the Joint Centre for Public-Private Partnerships website.

Follow @JointCentre on Twitter to keep up to date on news and developments at the Joint Centre.