One of the key roles the CPGR is playing is the work we do with the South African academic community – a service for which we charge zero Rand and zero cents. But what value are we creating by doing this? What impacts are we having? This is where the Social Benefits-Costs Ratio (SBCR) framework comes in.
The SBCR is a new tool currently under development at the CPGR to analyse the effect we, as a social enterprise, are having on our clients. This involves looking at the benefits to our clients for using us versus our costs of producing such value. In this part of the “Developing a framework for measuring the impact of a biotech social enterprise” series of blog posts, I am going to start the exploration of our academic value creation. The first question we need to ask is “what constitutes a benefit?”
If you refer to part 1 of this series, you will find a diagrammatic description of the logic chain, which symbolises the flow from input into impacts, or benefits to our clients. Benefits vary between the different business units and client groups of the CPGR and come in different forms, both qualitative and quantitative. While qualitative benefits are important measures, the SBCR framework utilises quantitative inputs only and puts them into monetary terms (in South African Rands). Examples include costs saved, grants received, subsidies received and IP exploited.
So to start with, lets take a look at the output of data for our academic clients. This data can be converted into a publication, which in turn is subject to a research output subsidy by the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET). The benefits accrued cannot, in most cases, be completely attributable to the CPGR. For this reason, a rating of the importance of the CPGR will be expressed as a number between 0 and 10. This weighting factor (FCPGR) is then used to adjust the overall benefit to reflect the portion we generated. By using a series of calculations, equations and estimates (the details of which won’t be entered into here), we can take a look at the approximate impact the CPGR made on our academic clients based on the publications they produced, all in monetary terms.
As an example, let’s use this system to estimate the impact the CPGR had on our academic clients for the 2010 financial year in terms of publication efforts.
This illustration assumes the following:
- Every third completed project yielded 1 journal article
- One third of which were published in 2010
- One third of which were published in 2011
- One third of which to be published in 2012
- Each completed project aided 1 masters thesis
- Every second completed project aided 1 doctorate thesis
- Each completed project was used to present at 1 conference
- The CPGR played a 30% role in all the publishing routes mentioned above (FCPGR = 3)
- Only completed projects were counted
- Projects for the MRC, SANDF, NHLS and private clients were not counted
Usage rate (actual figures):
- UCT used us 58 times
- UKZN used us twice
- SUN used us twice
- NWU used us twice
- UP used us once
- UFS used us once
The total estimated publication value creation for local academic clients by the CPGR in the 2010 financial year was: ZAR 8,372,463.66
Effectively, our impact for 2010 is sitting at ZAR 8,372,463.66, but of course publication subsidies are only one part of our total impact! The total impact for the year in question will involve the sum of all the various impact categories we have.
Next step is quantifying some more impacts!