The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program is one of the largest examples of U.S. public-private partnerships. Founded in 1982, SBIR was designed to encourage small business to develop new processes and products and to provide quality research in support of the many missions of the U.S. government, including health, energy, the environment, and national defense. In response to a request from the U.S. Congress, the National Research Council assessed SBIR as administered by the five federal agencies that together make up 96 percent of program expenditures.
This book, one of six in the series, reports on the SBIR program at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and finds that the program is making significant progress in achieving the Congressional goals for the program. Keeping in mind NASA's unique mission and the recent significant changes to the program, the committee found the SBIR program to be sound in concept and effective in practice at NASA.. The book recommends programmatic changes that should make the SBIR program even more effective in achieving its legislative goals.