NEC & Deloitte Release “Smart Infrastructure” Report
Today, The New England Council and Deloitte released a new report, “Smart Infrastructure in New England: An Investment for Growth and Prosperity” at a special event in Boston. The report assesses the region’s infrastructure strengths and weaknesses, and identifies opportunities for investment in “smart infrastructure” that will support economic growth and global competitiveness.
“We hope that this report serves as a starting point for a broader discussion among public and private sector stakeholders about how we invest in smart infrastructure that will promote economic growth here in New England,” said James T. Brett, President & CEO of The New England Council. “The report presents a variety of innovative ideas and proven strategies for addressing our region’s infrastructure challenges and positioning New England to compete in the global economy.”
“Infrastructure is a lot more than canals, railroads, highways and aviation,” said Michael Reopel, principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP and lead author of the report. “Today’s infrastructure must be ‘smart’ and connect the region through transportation, energy, communications, education, and economic assets.”
“Smart Infrastructure in New England” suggests that in order to build a 21st century infrastructure that will enable economic growth and prosperity, public and private stakeholders should work together to take several key steps:
Exploit the region’s structural advantages to achieve a responsive supply chain, operating at lower cost with less congestion, by taking advantage of lower cost “home-shoring” sub-regions in support of dominant industries.
Connect its regional networks and industry clusters to leverage their inherent economies with the appropriate infrastructure technology and management.
Develop workforce skills in a “learnings with earnings” collaboration, following a new apprenticeship model that brings together the interests of business, education, and government.
Finance strategic opportunities creatively, using a full range of innovative options to match affordability with productivity and speed to market.
At today’s event, hosted by Bank of America, Mike Reopel presented the report to an audience of nearly 100 NEC members and other stakeholders. Following Mike’s presentation, a panel of industry exports discussed the report’s recommendations, and highlighted some of the great work already underway in our region. The NEC plans to host similar discussions throughout New England in the coming months to share the report and to continue the conversation that was started today with the release of the report.