Project Examples

ERS > Project Examples > Economic Evaluation of British Library Business & IP Centre National Network
BIPC Background

The British Library Business and IP Centre Network is a business support offer originating in London in 2005 and expanded across the UK through a network of public libraries in 11 other cities (2019 evaluation). These libraries also form part of the PatLib network managed by the Intellectual Property Office (IPO). The service is for all stages of business, with a core offer of business databases and IP surgeries and in some cases very extensive wraparound support.   Every year the service works with 20,000 people and is free to use.

ERS Evaluation

ERS produced a report detailing the value of working as a network, the reach of the service, service use and user experience and outcomes for users and business impacts. The evidence gathering process involved: (i) field visits to all 12 libraries, observation and interviews with management and delivery staff; (ii) reanalysing monitoring information; (iii) analysing survey responses to an e-survey garnering 1855 responses. Survey analysis involved bottom-up modelling of impacts for each centre (and individual two-page summaries) describing employment, sales and GVA uplift, improvements in productivity and estimation of a Benefit Cost Ratio (BCR).

“ERS delivered the project in a collaborative way, with regular check-ins with us to update on progress, risk and milestones. From the get-go ERS were very well organised and checking that they had a good grasp of our expectations and any deadlines we needed to meet. We had a few extras to throw in along the way (such as a launch event of preliminary findings) which ERS were happy to meet. Since the evaluation project, we have been able to raise awareness of our services and the impact they deliver at a local, regional and national level among key stakeholders. This has helped us to demonstrate the real economic impact of the services and put forward our case for continued growth of the network in the future”.

David Gimson, Business and IP Centre National Network Manager, British Library