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In Europe, there is now over 30 years of experience in introducing project finance for transport and other infrastructure investments. The anticipated benefits have not always been met, while the economic and financial crisis have highlighted many short-falls. However, the need to use both public and private finance to deliver, maintain and upgrade transport infrastructure remains. Identifying the reasons behind lesser performance and how this may be remedied or designed to mitigate undesirable performance is the focus of the BENEFIT (Business Models for Enhancing Funding & Enabling Financing for Infrastructure in Transport) project. BENEFIT has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation program.

The Department of Construction Management and Engineering of Twente University is one of the 12 European partners involved in this Horizon 2020 project. BENEFIT takes an innovative approach by analysing funding schemes within an inter-related system. Funding schemes are successful (or not) depending on the Business Model that generates them. The performance of the Business Model is effected by the implementation and the transport mode context. It is matched successfully (or not) by a financing scheme. Relations between actors are described by a governance model (contracting arrangements). These are key elements in Transport Infrastructure Provision, Operation and Maintenance.

Success is a measure of the appropriate matching of elements. Within BENEFIT funding and financing schemes are analyzed in this respect. Describing these key elements through their characteristics and attributes and clustering each of them is the basis of, first, developing a generic framework. This allows for the transferability of findings with respect to “lessons learned”, “limitations” and “the impact of the financial and economic crisis”. Identifying best matches in their inter-relations and where to intervene, leads to move from a generic framework to a powerful decision policy tool, which can assess funding schemes for investments in modern infrastructure with smart pricing and funding in view of 2050 challenges and needs.

The BENEFIT partnership takes stock of over twenty years of EC funded, national and international research. It is set-up to share and exchange knowledge and debate. Its high level international advisory group and its consultation group demonstrate its ability to reach out to all stakeholders to share its innovative approach, namely:

•The notion of transport infrastructure business models and their project rating by which further value propositions may be included to lead to funding schemes with enhanced creditworthiness enabling viable financing.

•Transferability of findings with respect to lessons learned, limitations and the impact of the economic and financial crisis through the introduction of typologies.

For more information: see http://www.benefit4transport.eu/

Hans Voordijk
Ibsen Cardenas
Geert Dewulf

BENEFIT Key Elements in Transport Infrastructure Provision, Operation and Maintenance