In October 1995, the Department of Defense launched a Fast Track initiative to attract new firms and encourage commercialization of Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) funded technologies throughout the department. The goal of the Fast Track initiative is to help close the funding gap that can occur between Phase I and II of the SBIR program. The Fast Track initiative seeks to address the gap by providing expedited review and essentially continuous funding from Phase I to Phase II, as long as applying firms can demonstrate that they have obtained third-party financing for their technology. Another program initiative, Phase II Enhancement, was launched in 1999 to concentrate SBIR funds on those R&D projects most likely to result in viable new products that the Department of Defense and others will buy.
The current volume evaluates the two SBIR Program initiatives--Fast Track and Phase II Enhancement--and finds that both programs are effective. Ninety percent of Fast Track and 95 percent of Phase II Enhancement reported satisfaction with their decision. This book identifies the successes and remaining shortcomings of the programs, providing recommendations to address these issues.