awards (using a long survey) has the related problems of imposing a substantial burden, and risks causing multiple award winners not to respond.56

A note on the SBA Tech-Net database: SBA maintains a database of information derived from the annual reports made on SBIR by the agencies.57 Mandatory collected data includes award year and amount, agency topic number, awarding agency, phase, title, and agency tracking number. (Tracking numbers were not mandatory through 1998.)

However, this database is far from complete for our purposes:

  • Principal Investigator (PI) Information Today, reporting the PI name is mandatory, but although there are fields for title, email address, and phone, these are not mandatory entries for the agencies to report. As recently as 1998, agencies did not have to report the name of the PI.

  • Company information There are fields for the name, title, phone, and email of a company contact official, but these fields are not mandatory for the agencies to report.

  • Award information Agency award contract or grant number, solicitation number, year of solicitation and number of employees have fields, but they are not mandatory.

  • Technical project information. There are large fields for technical abstract, project anticipated results, and project comments, but they are not mandatory.

  • Women and minorities Although information is mandatory on minority or women owned, it was not complete in the SBA data for the years before 1993.58

  • Other data. Other data, such as award date for SBIR Phase I and Phase II, completion date for each phase, additional (non SBIR Phase II) and subsequent funding provided by the agencies, agency POC for each SBIR Phase II, information on cost sharing (if applicable), etc. may be available in some agency data bases.

56  

All prior efforts addressed only phase II. NIH and perhaps other agencies have indicated that they would be interested in a survey of Phase I winners that did not submit or did not win Phase II award.

57  

Tech-Net is an electronic gateway of technology information and resources, maintained by SBA, for and about small high tech businesses. It provides a search engine for researchers, scientists, state, federal, and local government officials, can serve as a marketing tool for small firms, and can "link" investment opportunities for investors and other sources of capital. Visit SBA Tech-Net database at http://tech-net.sba.gov/index.html

58  

Agencies have often reported information that is not mandatory so some of the above is available for many projects. For example, the SBA database through 1993 had names for 78 percent of the PI. It had phone numbers for just over half of the named PI. Number of firm employees was entered in 5 percent of the entries.



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