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Department of Transport and Regional Economics  

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Globally, governments look to public private partnerships for investments, public service delivery and innovation in these times of diminishing government budgets. Partnerships between governments and private actors are even believed to be much needed instruments to face the grand societal challenges, like climate change, clean energy, smart and green transport, and secure societies. However, many existing PPP’s face hardship because of economic downturn. Moreover, because of increasingly risk-averse actors, securing commitment and financing, and maximizing collaboration, innovation and value for money through PPPs become enormous challenges. There is a pressing need for cross-disciplinary, cross-sectoral, cross-country analyses and solutions.
On 6 and 7 November 2013, the Department of Transport and Regional Economics, the Research Unit on Public Administration & Management (Department of Political Science), the Law Faculty of the University of Antwerp, the Antwerp Management School, COST-Action TU1001 ‘PPP in Transport: Trends and Theory’, will jointly host a two and a half-day international conference on Public-Private Partnerships under the title ‘Global challenges in PPP : cross-sectoral and cross-disciplinary solutions?’, so as to deal with the above-mentioned issues. It will be held at the University of Antwerp, Belgium.
In co-operation with Policy Research Centre Governmental Organization - Decisive Government, Policy Research Centre on Commodity and Passenger Flows,  TransportNET, Antwerp Knowledge Centre on Transport and Maritime Law (Actramar), UNECE International PPP Centre of Excellence and Flemish Knowledge Centre PPP.
The conference is open to submissions of contributions by interested academics, researchers and PhD students, as well as reflexive practitioners and policy makers active in the PPP field . Abstracts of papers should be of a scientific quality and are due by 28 February 2013. Abstracts should deal with a topic that can be considered to be at current a key development in the PPP field, either at management, financial, operational or policy level. Specific topics can be dealing with all fields where PPP’s are or can be applied: transport infrastructure, energy, health care, education, sports facilities, urban renewal, environmental development etc.
Practitioners and policy makers are most welcome to discuss in the paper panels, to give presentations in specific designated slots and through the Research & Practice Debates. Keynotes are delivered by top academics, but also international policy makers in the field of PPP.
This conference is therefore not just another academic  conference on PPP, but has a number of specific features.

•   High-profile key note speakers from the PPP academic community and high level policy community,
•   Finished research and as well ‘research in process’  can be presented and discussed,
•   PhD students can present and discuss their research projects extensively on three dedicated parallel PhD seminars on Thursday afternoon,
•   Network possibilities for researchers and practitioners,
•   Confrontation of PPP research with insights and needs of practitioners and policy makers,
•   Focus on intersectorality: the conference has the aim to enhance the mutual learning between different sectoral fields where PPP’s can be applied, so as to derive cross-sectoral conclusions,
•   Focus on interdisciplinarity, i.e. all disciplines will be treated (engineering, economics & accounting, legal, public management, political science…) and will confront their insights,
•   The subject is theory as well as empirics, secondly derived products,
•   New research areas and opportunities for private actors will be dealt with. 
Issues that can be discussed can cover many aspects, like among others:

- the impact of the financial crisis on policy, financing, management of PPP's and involved actors,
- the role of PPP in the societal challenges, like climate change, clean energy, development, smart transport, health care and so on,
- performance of PPPs and service delivery networks and ex post evaluation,
- innovation in and through PPPs; PPPs as instrument for innovation policies,
- internationalization of PPP markets, standardization,
- PPP processes, networks and trust building,
- integrated service delivery through PPPs,
- decision making for PPPs,
- PPPs and tendering processes,
- PPPs in implementation,
- accountability of PPP projects,
- PPP and development,
- and many more themes....

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