Phelps Centre for the Study of Government & Business

UBC P3 Project

About the UBC P3 Project

Building public infrastructure capacity for Canadian communities

The Phelps Centre for the Study of Government and Business, working with the UBC Department of Civil Engineering in the Faculty of Applied Science, launched the UBC P3 Project in 2004.  Initial funding of approximately $500,000 over 3 years was provided by Infrastructure Canada.

This Project created a University of British Columbia entity for the purpose of producing and transferring knowledge, from research and practical experience, of Public-Private Partnerships and related procurement models. The goal is to help find better ways to provide for the infrastructure needs of Canadians and others.  

The Project has undertaken this work via a number of activities:

  1. Support for academic research by Project-affiliated faculty.
  2. Support for applied research by qualified practitioner-consultants.
  3. Dissemination of research results and case studies through organized conferences.
  4. Creation and delivery of academic and executive education courses on P3s and other alternative procurement modes.

Overall objectives

  • Foster an understanding of Public-Private Partnerships and related procurement modes as means of meeting the infrastructure needs of Canadians (and others);
  • Increase and improve the level of awareness and understanding of Public-Private Partnerships and how they can play a role in public infrastructure provision in communities across Canada and elsewhere;
  • Encourage the development and maintenance of multi-disciplinary research in infrastructure development;
  • Foster a stronger exchange of information and knowledge of Public-Private Partnerships amongst policy makers, experts, practitioners, communities, non-governmental organizations, industry and the general public;
  • Create greater capacity for governments to meet their public infrastructure needs by generating an understanding of P3s and introducing options for innovative and viable financing and procurement practices;
  • Create a team of scholars specializing and researching P3s and solutions to public infrastructure delivery from across UBC and, eventually, across the country; and
  • Create a specialized and unique research and knowledge dissemination program at a leading Canadian university aimed at educating and fostering an interest in the provision of public infrastructure.

The Future

The team behind the UBC P3 Project is currently working with a group of industry leaders to transform the Project into a permanent institute for infrastructure development. This institute will provide greatly expanded training offerings for practicing procurement professionals from both the public and private sectors across Canada and from other countries. It will also have an enhanced research program involving academic partners, including faculty and graduate students at UBC and elsewhere.

Project Co-Directors

Professor Thomas Ross
UPS Foundation Professorship in Regulation and Competition Policy
Director, Phelps Centre for the Study of Government and Business
Professor, Strategy and Business Economics Division, Sauder School of Business

Professor Alan Russell
Professor Emeritus, Civil Engineering
Chair in Computer Integrated Design and Construction

Jessie Lam
Administrator, UBC P3 Project 
Sauder School of Business 
The University of British Columbia 
Room 449-B, Henry Angus Building
2053 Main Mall,Vancouver BC, Canada V6T 1Z2 
Tel: (604) 822-8399 

In addition, several faculty members and doctoral students from both the Sauder School of Business and the Department of Civil Engineering complete the academic research team.

Jane Bird
Senior Business Advisor
Bennett Jones LLP
Formerly: Chief Executive Officer
Canada Line Rapid Transit Inc.

Larry Blain
Senior Director, Global Infrastructure, KPMG
Formerly: President & CEO
Partnerships British Columbia

Colin Duffield
University of Melbourne

Amanda Farrell
President and CEO
Transportation Investment Corporation

Ronald Fischer
University of Chile

Nicholas Hann
Formerly:  Head of Investments
Canada Infrastructure Bank
and Managing Director
Macquarie North America Ltd.

John Haythorne

Elisabetta Iossa
University of Rome Tor Vergata

Mark Liedemann
President and CEO
Partnerships British Columbia 

Cheryl Nelms
Deputy City Engineer
City of Vancouver


For further information about the UBC P3 Project, including about plans for the institute, please feel to contact the project co-directors, Tom Ross ( or Alan Russell (

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  • Contact the Phelps Centre for the Study of Government & Business

  • Get in touch

    +1 604.822.8399

    UBC Sauder School of Business 
    Room 449-B, Henry Angus Building 
    2053 Main Mall, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z2