MarCom WG 194 'A Framework for Early Contractor Involvement in Infrastructure Projects’

€ 215.00

Press release

Join us in Brussels on 6 October 2022 and find out all about Early Contractor Involvement (ECI) and collaborative contracting. 

PIANC, in cooperation with IADC, is organizing an international conference on Early Contractor Involvement (ECI) in Brussels on 6 October 2022. How can early involvement of the main contractor and its supply chain create value for the developer of an infrastructure project? And how should such an early collaboration be structured from a procurement, contractual and organizational perspective? These are the overarching questions that will be explored during the conference.

For this topic, PIANC has formed the Working Group 94; “A framework for Early Contractor Involvement (ECI) in infrastructure projects” with a number of ECI experts and practitioners to develop a report containing practical guidance how to perform ECI projects. The report is available on the PIANC website . Following the publication of this report, this full-day conference will address the topics of the report, with speakers from the working group and other leading experts in ECI and collaborative contracting.


If you want to learn more about ECI and collaborative contracting, this is the conference for you. Meet other professionals who have experience and expertise with ECI or are interested to apply it for the first time. Gain a better understanding of how ECI projects can be (or are) procured and organized. Broaden your network, uncover new methods and play a role in bringing this approach to mainstream application. The topics addressed make it ideal for attendees, such as:

  • Contractors;
  • Engineers;
  • Consultants;
  • Decision makers and their advisors of infrastructure projects, both in the public and private sector;
  • and Institutions and associations that have a particular focus on the procurement, management and organization of large construction projects.

 All presentations and panel discussions will be given by speakers and panelists who are experts and practitioners in the field of Early Contractor Involvement. As more presenters are confirmed, we will update details on our website:


Waterborne Transport Infrastructure (WTI) projects are becoming ever more complex and subject to critical time and budgetary constraints. It is increasingly acknowledged that the potential for project cost blowouts, coupled with the progressively complex nature of planning for WTI projects, can negatively affect both the procurement and execution processes for many projects. Early Contractor Involvement (ECI) is a strategy initiated by infrastructure owners (clients) towards main contractors and optionally expanded to consultants, stakeholders and subcontractors. The purpose being to optimize values in project delivery and objectives, through their participation and knowledge sharing in stages of project planning and design prior to project execution.

This report is a detailed introduction into the understanding and the application of Early Contractor Involvement in Waterborne Transport Infrastructure projects. It illustrates that it is a practical guidance to all industry practitioners to assist in the application of ECI in the WTI sector. The report also identifies that the hallmarks of a successful ECI process have been established, such as addressing good faith, transparency, equal treatment of all parties, fairness, clarity through clear rules of engagement and protection of intellectual property. The aim of the report is to further promote and support the use of ECI in the WTI sector and provide guidance to industry practitioners in how to successfully implement ECI for the betterment of the industry as a whole.

Chapter 2 looks at factors influencing ECI choice and setup detailing the principal benefits & recurring barriers with consideration of project specific factors and the differing formats of ECI and the setup choices which need to be considered. Chapter 3 is the core chapter of the Report and expands on the guidance on ECI implementation in WTI project planning and decision making. It introduces the testing of feasibility and appropriateness of ECI and the selection of ECI contractors with the key requirements of transparency, trust, confidentiality and ‘open book’ pricing.

Chapter 4 describes how to deal with procurement framework constraints and select the most appropriate contract framework. Chapter 5 deals with recent developments in ECI looking at BIM, systems engineering and lean management. Chapter 6 delves into 10 case studies, describing their context and features in terms of the frameworks and contracts that were set up their successes and key lessons learned. Although no single case study was found in which all aspects of the ECI framework described in the Report are applied, each illustrated some key features, practices and lessons which are essential to the application of ECI in WTI decision making. Chapter 7 concludes with recommendations for future revisions. Each chapter includes key takeaway’s summarizing important aspects to the reader. The Report also includes Appendices which deal with the terms of reference, a checklist for ECI appropriateness, a contract structure comparison chart, a comparison of the traditional vs ECI approach to facilitate innovation and sustainability as well as an extensive bibliography.

PIANC’s aim is to further promote and support the use of ECI in the WTI sector. A conference is planned in Brussels on 6 October 2022 to provide guidance to WTI practitioners in how to successfully implement ECI in future projects.

  • Written by: MarCom WG 194
  • Published: August 02, 2022