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An Assessment of the SBIR Program at the National Science Foundation
technology investments, where many research projects must be seeded to yield a few commercial home runs. Meanwhile, many small successes together will continue to comprise a potentially important component of the nation’s innovative capability.
Based on the counterfactual data, the NSF’s SBIR program can take credit for most, but not all, of the observed effects. A reported 14 percent of the surveyed firms believe that they definitely or probably would have done the referenced projects anyway, although most of these projects reportedly would have been narrower in scope, delayed in starting, and slower in progressing without the NSF SBIR program.