Thanking for the kind concession, we quote, here below, the welcome speech of President of AICE, Emanuele Banchi, to the IX ICEC World Congress, held in Milan last 20th,21st and 22nd October.

" Ladies & Gentlemen, welcome to the ninth world congress of the International Cost Engineering Council.

My name is Emanuele Banchi and I am the President of the Italian Association for Total Cost Management. AICE was founded in 1978 and is a member of ICEC since 1980.

It is a pleasure for me to thank all of you for being here at the Ata Hotel, here in Milan, here in Italy.
I and the AICE are very proud of your preference and we hope you can fully appreciate these three days of conference we have organized for you.

Let me spend few minutes to thank all those who made this congress possible and especially those who have been involved in the preparation of the congress.

First of all I would like to thank the International Cost Engineering Council in the person of its chairman, Mr. Carsten Wredstrom for having decided to assign the organization of this congress to our association. If I’m not wrong, Mr. Wredstrom, you were acting as the chairman at the meeting of the Region II in Rome in 2008 when we decided to nominate our association for organizing the ICEC 2014 congress. As you perfectly know, our association is very small, but despite this, we have obtained your trust. Thanks to you and to all the ICEC Executive Officeholders.

Today, Mr. chairman, this is a reality with the fundamental contribution of the Federation of the Scientific and Technical Associations (that is the FAST). So, a special thanks to our partner FAST, a special thanks to the president Mr. Stefano Rossini and the secretary-general Mr. Alberto Pieri:  thank you for joining us in our venture and for helping us to reach this ambitious goal.

Thanks to all entities that have granted their support and their patronage: the President of the Italian Republic, the region Lombardy, the municipality of Milan, the National Council of Chartered Engineers, the Order of Chartered Engineers of Milan, the Interregional Council of Chartered Engineers of Piedmont and Aosta Valley.

I would like to thank all the other associations and their delegates for being here: the collaboration among our organizations is an important topic which will be discussed during this congress. In the program you have in your hands, you will discover that we have dedicated some slots and scheduled some meetings to debate about relationships between TCM and our respective professions (cost engineers, project managers, quantity surveyors and all related specializations such as estimators, controllers, planners, contract and claim managers, project managers, risk managers …).  Thank you for your presence and for your active participation to this conference.

Other thanks to our Sponsors and Exhibitors: their presence gives to the congress a practical value and shifts the TCM from a theoretical level to a more practical, effective and commercially viable level. Your presence demonstrates that the TCM is not only a discipline to be debated in a conference but it can become concrete part of our profession. If you believe, we believe that what we are proposing are not only ideas, but projects that can enter in our real life.

Last but not least, thanks to the Organizing Committee, the Scientific Committee and the Scientific Secretàriat. During the last year and especially during these last months, they have been committed in a kind of “mission impossible” (considering the dimensions of our association and the overall context which in Italy – and not only in Italy – is very difficult both to interpret and to manage). I know, and now you can see, that they have carried out an incredible job to make this congress possible.  So, a very special thanks to Rosaria, Laura, Martina, Manuela, Barbara, Sarah, Francesca: it is possible that you all have seen their names in some emails. Today we are here because of their strenuous and tireless work.

Of course, thanks also to Gianluca di Castri, Director of the Region 2 of the ICEC, Coordinator of the Scientific Committee and Director of this Congress.

Coming briefly to the content of the congress, having to decide the main topic, we have oriented our choice to the relationship between the methods and models proposed by our discipline and the current global context. As it is written in the call for papers: “The aim of this Congress is to illustrate significant international experiences and practices, with the goal of correlating needs and achieved results to facilitate a greater dissemination of TCM on a global scale, at a time in which cost control and profitability issues have reached and touched all levels of society, who realize now the possible consequences of individual economic choices and factors.”

Today we have the opportunity to enter deeply in such path. Today we can focus the various aspects of Total Cost Management in the practical dimension in order to analyze how they can be used as possible leverage for fighting the present worldwide economic crisis.

The tight link between the physics of projects phenomena and their economic effects is the cornerstone of our discipline: analyze the facts related to a project (or an enterprise, a product, a “system”), measure them, correlate cause and effects, understand their connections, use this knowledge to plan and define how to take decisions about investments and resources allocation, all these are the reasons why our associations exist.

I suppose that we all experienced sad situations where decisions were taken without considering any logical, rational, reasonable and consistent correlation between needed resources and value of the outcome. Missing this basic “connection” principle, and without any consideration for the valuable tools, methods, models and good practices of TCM, too often resources are wasted and (more often) badly distributed (that is, their distribution does not take into account their “exchange value”).

On a large scale and long term perspective, this leads to unjustified concentration of resources in few hands, then it leads to their freezing and finally leads to their unavailability for turning many good ideas into projects.

Our capabilities to manage the costs along the whole life cycle of the system (i.e. along the life cycle of a “strategic asset”), identify, select and emphasize the elements making it “sustainable”, create value for owners, contractors, end-users and all the stakeholders, well, all those are the reasons why we, as Associations, exist.

So, we trust that the application of TCM can help us to overcome the jam we find ourselves in; the path we are proposing (in addition to many others recipes) passes through the improvement of the TCM tools and practices and (most important) through their wide diffusion, starting from young professionals who are founding today their careers, are creating today their experience and in this way are building today what they will become tomorrow.

I leave you this short meditation which I pray you to take into account whatever is your interest.

Thanks to all the speakers, to all the chairmen of the various sessions for their work. The contents and the success of this congress is now in your hands.

Welcome and thanks to all of you!"

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