In the countries contributing to this publication, alliancing is at varying stages of development and adoption. In some countries, alliancing or co-operative contracts of some form are being used and in others, it is not a concept which is well recognised. There is no country where alliancing is significantly developed and adopted in the construction industry but there are many examples of individual projects where this is being used or employers who are taking the lead in using this form of contracting.
What follows are three specific country case studies where alliancing has been more readily used (Australia, Austria and Finland) as well as a snapshot of the experience in a number of other countries listed below.
See the case studies:
Strategic alliances are gaining more and more interest in Italy and have been quite recently regulated in 2009.
In particular, the Italian Law Decree no. 5/2009 defines strategic alliances as a contract whereby the contracting parties pursue the aim to increase, individually and collectively, their innovative capacity and competitiveness on the market and to this end the parties undertake, on the basis of a common network programme, to cooperate in predetermined forms and areas relating to the operation of their businesses or to exchange information or services of an industrial, commercial, technical or technological nature or to jointly carry out one or more activities falling within the object of their business (“network contract”). Such alliances can be entered into by means of either deed signed with an electronic signature or any other type of advanced signature authenticated by the notary public, private deed authenticated by a public notary or a public deed and are subject to registration with the competent Chamber of Commerce.
With the Italian Law Decree n. 34/2020 (“Decreto Rilancio”) the Italian government introduced for the year 2020 the possibility to enter into a network contract with the purpose to maintain the employment levels of companies affected by economic crises caused by crisis situations or states of emergency declared by the competent authorities. For example, the network contract can be used to (i) use employees of other companies which are members for the network and may lose their jobs; (ii) employ people who have lost their jobs due to the closure of activities or business crisis; (iii) employ professional figures necessary to relaunch productive activities after a crisis.
According to Italian law, the network contract must mandatorily include:
If the parties intend to grant to the "network" a “legal status” (and therefore, to incorporate an autonomous entity) the network is subject to additional and specific rules.
Although the first regulations on this type of contract were issued over a decade ago, network contracts are still relatively "young" and not particularly well known and used in Italy despite their great potential.
This situation may be due to the fact that networking contracts have not always provided positive results in construction sectors, in spite of what has happened in others productive sectors such as manufacturing, trade and services.
We assume that in the near future the need for businesses to increase their bargaining power on the market, as well as the possibility to share purchases, supplies and technologies or to be more competitively in calls for tenders and contracts will determine companies to make greater use of this type of contract.