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Public–private partnerships (P3s) are becoming a prevalent solution to address the growing infrastructure needs across the United States. Proponents of P3s believe that they enable the private sector to implement more lifecycle-design innovations, or design changes that benefit long-term project performance. While studies have explored innovation in highway P3s, to date none have explored the effect of contract timing on the ability to realize lifecycle-design innovations. This study addresses this gap by analyzing three design-build-finance-operate-maintain (DBFOM) P3s to explore the influence of contract timing on the private sector’s ability to realize lifecycle-design innovations. Using innovation theory as a framework to measure the magnitude of lifecycle-design changes, the research explored contract timing of private involvement and analyzed whether this timing enabled or inhibited the ability of the project team to realize the promise of lifecycle innovations. Furthermore, through the identified examples, a conceptual model illustrates how the private sector’s ability to perform more radical lifecycle-design innovations increases the earlier the partner is brought into a project.

Antillon, E., Molenaar, K., and Javernick-Will, A. (2016). “Evaluating the Effect of Contract Timing on Life Cycle Design Innovation in Public-Private Partnerships: A Comparative Case Study of Highway Projects.”Journal of Construction Engineering and Management. doi: 10.1061/(ASCE)CO.1943-7862.0001239