Project Examples

ERS > Project Examples > ERDF Summative Assessment of Innovation Enterprise Programme
In September 2019 ERS were commissioned to undertake a summative assessment of the Innovation Enterprise Programme (IEP) on behalf of The University of the West of England. IEP is a three-year programme designed to support SMEs, local entrepreneurs and graduates to undertake innovation activity, ultimately leading to the development of jobs and new-to-market products. The programme is delivered across the West of England LEP areas, including: Bristol, Bath and North East Somerset, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire. The wider IEP programme is broken down into two distinct strands of support, Innovation4Growth (I4G) and Launch Space (graduate incubator facility).

The programme is part-funded through ERDF, with public sector funding contributed by UWE Bristol. Private sector match-funding is also provided by the SME beneficiaries in receipt of funding from the I4G strand of support. The budget for the programme was £4,571,296, with ERDF providing £2,000,000 (capital and revenue funding). IEP contributes to ERDF Priority Axis 1: Promoting Research and Innovation. More specifically, the programme aligns with Investment Priority 1b of the European Structural & Investment Funds (ESIF), Promoting Business Investment in Research and Innovation.

ERS undertook an independent evaluation in accordance with the ERDF Summative Assessment Guidance. As part of the evaluation process the first task was a review of relevant programme documentation and data, including: ERDF funding application, ERDF claims progress reports, IEP Logic Model and Programme Change Requests (PCR). The document and data review, alongside the inception meeting, informed the development of research tools for the primary research strands of data collection.

Consultations were undertaken with the programme management and delivery teams covering the two delivery strands. These consultations were undertaken by telephone, to understand their views on how the programme was run and the impacts that it was having on the beneficiary businesses. Beneficiary e-surveys were developed by ERS and disseminated via IEP to 101 beneficiaries, responses informed qualitative analysis and the economic impact assessment. The economic impact assessment covered impacts achieved to date attributable to the intervention support as well as projected future impacts and a value for money assessment expressed a benefit-cost ratio (BCR).

The final output was a final summative assessment report, covering the areas outlined in ERDF ESIF-GN-1-033 reporting guidance. The timescales for the delivery of this evaluation were tight, at just 6-weeks to undertake the full summative assessment. ERS successfully delivered the project on time and the team at UWE were pleased with the final report which exceeded expectations, as well as our flexible approach to undertake the commission within the short timescales.

“ERS undertook Summative Assessment of one of the University’s ERDF programmes. We had very short timelines and a limited budget. ERS met our very short timescales without a problem. They were flexible, especially working around our stakeholders and open to constant feedback. Our expectations were exceeded with this piece of work. We had assumed it was a tick box exercise, but the final report was a document that was far more valuable and useful than this. The amount of data provided, and information”

Katy Sensier, Business Projects Support Manager