Michael CaccuittoDepartment of Defense

Mr. Caccuitto thanked the organizers and said that he worked for Mr. Frank Ramos, the Director of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization, Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD). This office reports to the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics. Prior to becoming program administrator for SBIR/STTR, Mr. Caccuitto spent five years in the Office of Industrial Policy (formerly the Office of Industrial Affairs).22

A Non-linear Technology Commercialization Process

He began with an overview of the commercialization process, which is one of the four main objectives of the SBIR program. This objective had been receiving more attention than any other aspect of the SBIR program since the 1992 reauthorization. He noted that this represents an interest that had steadily increased.

The SBIR is a three-phase program that appears quite linear. That is, a technology is assumed to move more or less sequentially through three phases, from Phase I (feasibility) to Phase II (prototype) to Phase III (commercialization). In fact, he noted, the process is seldom linear in practice, responding to many overlaps and feedback loops and changing direction according to new capabilities and needs.

Funding sources differ for the three phases, with Phase I and II supported by the SBIR set-asides; Phase III must, by definition, be funded by other sources.

As of the FY 2005 budget, 11 federal agencies were participating in the SBIR program, with the budget of the DoD accounting for over 50 percent of all SBIR money. He joined many participants in noting the diversity of SBIR programs, implemented by different agencies in different ways in order to meet agency-specific missions.

Leveraging Small Business Innovation to Benefit the Warfighter

The general objective of the SBIR program in the DoD, he said, was to harness and leverage small business innovation for the benefit of the warfighter and the nation. The program directly supported two current goals: technology dominance and a stronger industrial base. He reminded the audience that a new Under Secretary, Mr. Kenneth Krieg had just been sworn in, with the possibility of fresh input. During testimony before Congress, Mr. Krieg cited the importance of pro-

22

Mr. Caccuitto also thanked the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition for allowing him to participate in this event. As a reserve officer attached to that office, he added, he was serving his annual tour of duty on the day of the conference.



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