Task 4: Collect and interpret information relevant to an evaluation of the non-economic benefits of the SBIR program.
The Committee will explore how best to gauge the potential non-economic benefits of the SBIR program. Non economic benefits include the impact of SBIR on small business growth and development, knowledge effects, environmental benefits and public safety. These factors are related to cluster phenomena, links among SBIR firms, universities, government laboratories, and large firms, and the availability of highly qualified workers.
Task 5: Collect and interpret information on Federal research and development funds to small businesses (between fiscal year 2000 and fiscal year 1983).
Trend analysis is the appropriate methodology if “federal research and development funds to small businesses” is interpreted as support to small businesses through the SBIR program only. In such an analysis, two other factors must be controlled for: political factors associated with the supply of such funds and demand factors associated with changes in the extent of technological competition.
A more comparative framework will be necessary if a broader definition, which includes other non-SBIR agency funding for small business R&D, is adopted.
Task 6: Collect and interpret information on the extent to which SBIR Phase II awards fulfill the procurement needs of Federal agencies.
Here, the Committee seeks to develop, particularly through case studies knowledge about how and why Federal agencies procure technology and how they use such technology. Implicit in Task 6 is the charge to understand the frontier associated with the effective use of SBIR Phase II technology, to understand how close Federal agencies are to that frontier, and to determine what factors are associated with such positioning.