Competence Centers

Geneva Public-Private Partnership Center

The Geneva Public-Private Partnership Center is a research-focused platform forming the hub of Geneva-based research activities. It aims at promoting the integration of PPP-knowledge, projects, and initiatives, while building on the University of Geneva’s resources and knowledge.


Geneva is a focal point of international cooperation: About 35 international organizations and more than 250 NGOs are located in Geneva, approximately 130 multinational companies have their headquarters in this city, and 170 foreign states are represented here. While these organizations all actively strive to solve the most important societal problems that humanity faces, or are at least very concerned about these, experience has shown that these problems’ complexity highlights the limits of each sector’s capacities. By acknowledging that public, business, and civil society actors are interdependent when endeavoring to solve fundamental societal problems and to reach their goals, public-private partnerships (PPPs) have become the “collaboration paradigm of the 21st century.”

These partnerships are aimed at creating a collaborative advantage by combining sector-specific resources and expertise. However, these are not simple ventures. Challenges stemming from a complex environment, differences in the partners’ interests and ways of working, and a lack of suitable partnership management know-how and skills often jeopardize the benefits of a collaborative approach. In addition, the development of the relevant knowledge and capacities remains difficult in a fragmented arena, in which with actors start from scratch and do not build on existing best practices and lessons learned.


The uniqueness of the Geneva PPP Research Center

The Geneva PPP Research Center takes the prominence of PPP approaches into account, as well as the challenges that such endeavors comprise. The Center seeks to serve as a hub and catalyst for PPP-related research projects and to provide a platform to share know-how on managing PPPs. Consequently, the Center builds on Geneva-based researchers’ most important PPP research activities and initiates further inter-disciplinary research projects. It provides an overview of the latest insights into PPP projects, educational programs, and research activities in Geneva to countervail the PPP landscape’s current fragmentation. The Center creates a much needed link between education programs, practice, and research. Master and MBA programs, for example, benefit from the latest insights into PPP management and from an active exchange with professionals. On this basis, the Center seeks to bring public, business, and civil society actors together for a constructive knowledge exchange and to develop close links with PPP catalysts such as the World Economic Forum. The Geneva PPP Research Center therefore aims to make the most of its unique geographical position within a cluster of key actors in the PPP arena.

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