iBUILD: Infrastructure Business Models, Valuation and Innovation for Local Delivery

i-BUILD is funded by a £3.5 million grant from the EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council) and the ESRC (Economic and Social Research Council). The programme also benefits from £1.8 million of support from university partners, industry and government departments and agencies.

‎‎i-BUILD is a consortium of three of the UK's leading Universities:

  • Newcastle University (Headquarters)
  • University of Leeds
  • University of Birmingham

i-BUILD is developing new business models to improve the delivery of infrastructure systems and the services they provide.

These new business models will better exploit the technical and market opportunities that emerge from the increased interdependence of modern infrastructure systems. 

i-BUILD focuses on infrastructure at the scale of neighbourhoods, towns and cities where infrastructure is most dense and interdependencies between infrastructures, economies and society are most profound.

As cities, local authorities and local enterprise partnerships are given more powers for infrastructure delivery and to raise finances it is crucial to develop robust new business models to develop infrastructure related business and growth locally - to the benefit of the nation.


The iBUILD Centre aims to develop a suite of alternative infrastructure business models that are suited to a range of circumstances.  This portfolio of business models will deliver a step change in the Value-Cost Ratio for infrastructure delivery by (i) reducing costs of infrastructure delivery by understanding and exploiting interdependencies and alternative finance models, (ii) improving valuation of infrastructure benefits by identifying and harnessing the social, technical, environmental and economic opportunities, and (iii) reconciling national and local priorities.

Through delivery of the following objectives, iBUILD aims to become an internationally leading centre for innovation and research excellence in infrastructure business models:

  • Establish and sustain a hub of expertise in infrastructure analysis, business modelling and socio-economic sciences. Through assemblies, workshops, seminar series and other activities, iBUILD will provide thought leadership around issues of choice, valuation and delivery of infrastructure - with a distinctive focus on local and regional scales.
  • Develop a portfolio of infrastructure business models and investment opportunities, based upon hybrids of traditional and radical approaches that analyse infrastructure interdependency over its whole lifecycle to target resource, create new business opportunities and give confidence to investors.
  • Challenge and enhance theories of infrastructure value to change prioritisation of infrastructure options and enable leveraging of economic, social, environmental, aesthetic and other dimensions of value.
  • Reconcile all aspects of infrastructure value and delivery across the scales of strategic infrastructure planning and local delivery of services, from community and neighbourhood through local, regional, national and global.
  • Bench test our novel multi-scale business and valuation models on a series of case studies to integrate activity across iBUILD and demonstrate immediate impact and evidence for policy-makers and investors operating at local, national or trans-national scales.
  • Identify pathways to infrastructure sustainability that exploit new business models and evaluation methods and consider wider issues around governance, regulation and public perception.

Publications and outputs


Project website