A project to optimise digitalisation in future EBRD infrastructure investments


Image courtesy EBRD

Policy approach(es) used to catalyse investment: A change in procurement policy; development of a national, regional, or sectoral InfraTech strategy  

Commercial approach(es) used to catalyse investment: Integration into project preparation process 

Technology approach(es) used to catalyse investment: Implementation of cybersecurity or improved privacy measures; utilisation of the new EBRD SIG sector specific digitalisation Roadmaps and Compendia  

Key benefits: 

  • Climate mitigation 
  • Climate adaptation 
  • Enhanced social inclusion 
  • Enhanced pandemic preparedness and response 
  • Improved infrastructure delivery and performance 
  • Capex efficiency 
  • Opex efficiency 

Scale of deployment: 

EBRD Sustainable Infrastructure Group on average achieves EUR4 billion per annum for approximately 100 different project investments. 

Project value: 

As 95% of EBRD project investments include some degree of digitalisation, the infrastructure investment value per annum will be in the order of EUR3.8 billion 

Project start/end dates: 

2022 onwards 

Current status of the project: 


The EBRD 2021-25 Strategic Capital Framework (SCF) recognises that digitalisation and technology affect every sector in which the bank operates. Consequently, it is accelerating digital transition in its Countries of Operation as one of its three core themes.

SIG Digital Roadmaps and Compendia are being developed, leading to the creation of the SIG online Infrastructure Digitalisation Toolkit for bankers, regional offices, and clients. These roadmaps will help existing and future clients identify strategies for digital optimisation and where to strengthen capacity building alongside investment in design, adoption, and implementation of digital technologies.

Five sectors are covered:

  1. Water
  2. Buildings, heating, cooling, energy efficiency
  3. Solid waste
  4. Transport (national and urban)

This requires different professional competencies and varying inputs for each of the Digitalisation Roadmaps and Compendium developments. To develop these, the specialist consultants appointed will undertake the following tasks in each sector:

  • Digital maturity roadmaps: Detail suitable pathways for transition from early stage, low maturity or ‘digital ignorance’ to higher stages of maturity such as ‘transformative’, or similar for all digitalisation benefits that can be achieved in each sector.
  • Digital maturity key performance indicators: Audit relevant digital solutions already in place or with high potential for near-future application across each relevant sector, as well as key performance metrics and timelines for achieving the ‘digital maturity roadmap’.
  • Action plan: Identify actions required by asset owners or developers to progress along each ‘digital maturity roadmap’.
  • Public sector: Identify the role of public policy and policy agencies for defining the course of the digitalisation pathway, particularly institutions, sector regulation, funding, incentives, and standards. This shall develop relevant policies and actions for engaging private sector and mobilising funding, with use of country case-studies and illustrations.
  • Private sector: Detail how private sector involvement can help with digital transformation (regardless of whether the asset owner in each sector is from the public sector, SOE, or private sector). 

In addition, specifically for the Energy Sector: 

  • Energy value chain (from generation to demand side): Establish to which subsector of the energy sector they apply.  
  • Energy systems and geography: Establish how they apply to different energy systems in the EBRD region (liberalised energy markets, vertically integrated systems, etc.). 

EBRD SMA scale

Image courtesy EBRD

The resulting Roadmaps and Compendium will enable the bank to better structure its support and investments, responding to the SCF requirement of accelerating the digital transition whilst mitigating the risks. This will enable the Bank to truly optimise the interventions made in the advancement of digitalisation across infrastructure and energy sectors over the short and medium term. The end benefit will accrue for a range of both public and private sector clients, supporting a large number of beneficiaries.

Challenges experienced/overcome in implementation

Banking teams were unaware of the most appropriate digital technologies and innovations that should be applied for each type or project in each sector to optimise benefits from digitalisation.

Other approaches that enabled investment

The development of digitalisation roadmaps for each sector has highlighted what asset owners and operators need to do to achieve digital maturity, regardless of what level they are currently at. This has opened up opportunities for EBRD to support such organisations with a broader range of digitalisation interventions rather than just project-specific ones. EBRD can invest in digital platforms or organisation-wide digital upgrades, cyber resilience measures, or AI-enabled enterprise asset management. EBRD can also invest in citywide data platforms or digital twins.


Note: This case study and all information within was submitted by EBRD in response to our global call for InfraTech case studies.

Last Updated: 21 October 2022