At this point in history, there is an unprecedented need to accelerate the implementation of long-term investments in strategic assets for society and the economy: infrastructure, research, the ecological transition, health, and education. These are key investments for the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and given their magnitude and complexity they cannot go without new forms of public-private collaboration.
If this is what policy makers at all institutional levels, investors and economic players believe, the need is to urgently identify and ground these collaborative models, which can be implemented at a macro (policy), meso (institutional) and micro (project) level, as reflected in the studies conducted by Veronica Vecchi, Director of SDA Bocconi’s InvestinIT Lab, and presented in her latest publication, “Public Private Collaborations for Long-Term Investments. Converging toward public value generation,” published by Edward Elgar.
In this context, the public administration (PA) must be responsive, ambitious and equipped with new capabilities to leverage the wealth of the available financial resources as well as an extraordinary market focus on generating public value through sustainable investments and strategies. The concern is that the system will not be quick and effective in implementing long-term investments capable of revitalizing the economy, supporting the ecological transition and generating more equity, after years of spending restraint policies: Between 2012 and 2019, public investment bottomed out at 2.3 percent of GDP (vs. 2.7 percent in the euro zone).
On the other hand, the market needs to understand the trajectories for creating synergies with the PA, seizing the opportunity of the PNRR and structural funds, but also for putting its capital and know-how into infrastructure and services that are more modern.
The co-evolution of the public and private sectors as well as their strategic and operational alignment are essential ingredients to foster long-term investments.
In this context and with the strategic support of Cassa Depositi e Prestiti as an institutional partner, along with other economic players, SDA Bocconi has created InvestinIT Lab to offer a space for in-depth analysis and discussion to stimulate this co-evolution process, which is necessary to create mutual trust based on knowledge and sharing of strategies and solutions. This will enable the public and private sectors to pool capital and resources, both tangible and intangible and rewrite the future of Italy. “The partnership with Cassa Depositi e Prestiti is crucial for it is the actor that both embodies and defines the meaning of institutional partnership in long-term investments,” InvestinIT Lab’s Scientific Director Veronica Vecchi highlights. “In my book, I quote from Dario Scannapieco, CEO of Cassa Depositi e Prestiti – We need to work as an accelerator of investments in infrastructure, through financial instruments, advisory and promotion of public-private partnerships, and by encouraging the market to take up the investment challenge that society needs today.”
InvestinIT’s 2022/2023 agenda contains research and seminars - both in-person and online - and focuses on the topics of smart cities and urban regeneration. The main themes are redevelopment of public assets to make them more sustainable, digital investments, Public-Private Partnerships, measurement of the Value for Society and how the sustainable development approach can and should guide investment strategies but also their implementation, first and foremost through tender choices.
InvestinIT opens its activities on May 27 with a conference at ASL Roma 1’s Commendatore Hall in Rome. The theme of the conference is leadership, management and trust as essential ingredients for the realization of long-term investments. During the event, the process of rebuilding the Genoa Bridge will be examined, highlighting the importance of management processes and choices. These include building a multidisciplinary team, managing the relationship with economic players in a non-bureaucratic and trust-based way, and being able to make decisions quickly, creating a convergence among all the stakeholders. The same elements can also be applied in ordinary management, since equipping the country and its citizens with better infrastructure and more adequate services on a timely basis is and must be a strategic goal for all administrations, even in their daily activity. The workshop is therefore a time to reflect on the skill set needed to make investments and redesign services able to revitalize the economy, support the ecological transition and generate more equity.
“InvestinIT Lab was founded based on the experience we have gained at SDA Bocconi over the past ten years, as a point of reference to stimulate the co-evolution of the public and private sectors,” Veronica Vecchi highlights, “and especially taps on the Masan Observatory on health procurement, which has generated new purchasing logics in just a few years, and in particular greater awareness, skills and tools to move from operational to strategic procurement. I am aware of the role of a practice-oriented research activity and of how crucial opportunities for sharing and alignment between the public and private sectors are to lay the groundwork for change, and it is with great enthusiasm that I welcome this challenge, concerning issues that are not only essential at a national and international level, but that represent the area on which I have been researching, training and supporting institutions for many years.”
SDA Bocconi School of Management