OHE and RAND Europe were commissioned by the Oxford BRC to undertake a programme of top-down evaluations of aspects of the impact of the BRC. This research looked at the health, economic and scientific impact of Oxford BRC’s research activity.
The Oxford Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) was established in April 2007 with funding from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). OHE and RAND Europe were commissioned by the Oxford BRC to undertake a programme of top-down evaluations of aspects of the impact of the BRC since its inception.
This programme of research has looked at the health, economic and scientific impact of Oxford BRC’s research activity, whether achieved directly from the outcomes of the many specific pieces of BRC-supported research, or indirectly due to the BRC’s impact on research activity/awareness/culture in health services and industry.
The evaluation, conducted from autumn 2015 to mid-2016, consisted of three separate but related studies:
The impact of Oxford BRC on healthcare provision by Oxford University Hospitals (OUH): This was assessed through a qualitative, interview based study, in which we sought to identify local impacts of the Oxford BRC on healthcare and on OUH. We were interested in both the direct and indirect impacts of Oxford BRC-related research. The results of this study have been published previously.
The impact of Oxford BRC on industry: This study was based on a survey of companies identified by Oxford BRC and follow-up interviews with a sample of them to build case studies of commercial collaborations.
Bibliometric study: An exploratory bibliometric analysis was conducted to provide quantitative information on changes following the inception of the Oxford BRC in research publications by the University of Oxford and OUH, and on co-authorship collaborations between those organisations, and between them and industry as compared to two comparators.
Overall this programme of research indicated that the Oxford BRC has had a number of positive impacts on health care provided at OUH, through both direct and indirect effects. It is clear that Oxford BRC research plays a major role within the totality of research activity at OUH. In particular, Oxford BRC has:
- Added positively to the reputation of OUH, and has facilitated collaboration between OUH clinical staff and academic researchers;
- Had a positive effect on commercial activity (although note that these results are indicative only as the industry study was hampered by a very low survey response rate);
- Been associated with an increase in the number of publications and collaborations amongst relevant institutions within the Oxford region.
Our work may have been too early to capture important longer-term changes, particularly given that the creation of the BRC was an incremental change in an environment where there was already much academic research. Further research following up on each of these three studies could provide greater insight into the overall ‘macro’ impact of the Oxford BRC.
Download the full report here.