Business and Intellectual Property Centre (BIPC)

Located in Sheffield's Central Library and based on the successful centre in the British Library in London, we provide access to a range of business databases, trade publications, business literature and guides to support your business information needs. It is free to join and open to everyone. 

We can help if you need advice on protecting your intellectual property or are ready to take the next step in your journey.

How to use our resources

Anyone is free to use the centre's resources at the reading room at the Central Library during opening hours. You can also book computers and meeting pods in advance or on a drop in and see what's available. 

If you want to access the 24/7 business databases remotely or take books home you'll need to be a library member.

Business and company information

  • access to the COBRA (complete business reference advisor) database
  • company information from Fame UK and D&B Hoovers Global databases
  • selection of business books and start up guides
  • market research available on our databases
  • current and past editions of newspapers and journals
  • E library resources including Proquest

Intellectual Property Information

  • member of UK Patlib Network, providing local access to Patent and IP information
  • guidance on protecting your ideas with patents, trademarks, design and copyright
  • GB historical patents from 1617 to 1900

Free computers, networking area with study space and private, bookable meeting pods.

Free clinics, workshops and networking events

  • patent clinics
  • trademark clinics
  • Innovator in Residence sessions
  • accountancy for business clinic
  • Business Legal Advice clinic

Business and market research databases

We can give you access to the following business databases on our computers at the centre, with some available remotely.


A practical and comprehensive resource for anyone wanting to start a business, write a business or marketing plan or conduct research into a new market, including practical how-to guides. Remote access available for library card holders.


Kompass EasyBusiness is a premium B2B resource containing information on over 43 million companies across 71 countries worldwide. Remote access available for library members.

IBIS World

A global market research database providing statistics and expert analysis on industries, countries, consumers and companies.

D&B Hoovers

A comprehensive database of company information and unincorporated businesses throughout the world. You can access financial information, industry research, director and key contact details, peer groups and comparisons. Global Market research reports are available.


A comprehensive database of information on both public and private companies across the UK and Ireland. It is a valuable business intelligence tool for sales and marketing.


A global database providing company, industry and economic information including company reports and financial statements.

Passport (Euromonitor)

The world's leading independent provider of strategic market research. Get data and analysis on thousands of products and services globally.

Frost and Sullivan

A specialist market analysis database focusing on the sciences and technology, providing in-depth global market research and strategy reports.


Enables you to identify funding, grants and loans to apply for. Featuring over 8,000 continuously updated funding opportunities.

Local Data Online

Provides strategic market research about every retail location across the UK, capturing an accurate and dynamic picture of the UK high street. Historic analysis, present and future forecasts can be taken from this data, enabling you to make better strategic decisions.


In-depth market research reports focussing on businesses that provide services to consumers. Get data and analysis on thousands of products and services globally.

Intellectual Property databases

If you want to do a patent or trade mark search, these Intellectual Property databases are free to use.


The European Patent Office website, has international coverage. Provides access to over 130 million patent documents.


A trade mark database run by the European Patent Office. It has international coverage. 

Business Sheffield - Launchpad

The Launchpad programme provides free support to pre-start and new businesses in the Sheffield City Region. It is a fully inclusive programme designed to help ambitious entrepreneurs set up and run successful businesses and support SMEs under 5 years old to take the next step and grow their business.

Have you ever dreamed of working for yourself? Are you already trading and ready to take the next step? Launchpad can help. It’s a programme of services through which you can get a wide range of free support including access to free workshops and events and one to one support from business advisors.

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