The following HTML text is provided to enhance online
readability. Many aspects of typography translate only awkwardly to HTML.
Please use the page image
as the authoritative form to ensure accuracy.
An Assessment of the SBIR Program at the National Science Foundation
the study suggestive of shortcomings in research quality or knowledge creation. (This point is elaborated upon in Chapter 7, Section 7.1.1.)
Creating and Disseminating Intellectual Capital. A short-run result of the program’s technological innovation is knowledge outputs. These are important in meeting the NSF’s goal of funding research that leads to broader impact, because they provide paths by which others may use the program’s knowledge gains to achieve additional benefits. There is evidence that the program is producing the kind of knowledge outputs that are typically associated with innovation, such as patents, copyrights, and publications. Extensive licensing activities of Phase II awardees attested to the fact that useful intellectual capital has been created and disseminated. For example, the NRC Phase II Survey showed 20 percent of Phase II projects reporting they had reached licensing agreements with U.S. companies and investors, and 21 percent reporting they had ongoing negotiations with U.S. companies and investors on licensing agreements. (For more detail, see Chapter 7, including Table 7.2-2.)
Building Networks with Universities. Both the NRC surveys and the case studies showed extensive networking between NSF SBIR-funded projects and universities. University faculty and students used the NSF SBIR program to establish businesses, start projects, and work on projects. University staff and faculty often assisted with proposal preparation, provided facilities and equipment, and made ongoing contributions to the intellectual capital underpinning company innovations. Faculty also often served as proposal reviewers. (For more details, see Chapter 7, including Table 7.2-5, and also the case studies in Appendix D.)
Moving Technology from Universities Toward the Market. The NSF SBIR program has facilitated transfer of technology from universities. Fourteen percent of the NRC Phase II Survey projects were based on technology originally developed at a university by a project participant. Five percent of Phase II Survey projects were based on technology licensed from a university. (This effect is discussed further in Chapter 7, including Table 7.2-5.)
Broadening the Scope and Speed of Research. The NSF’s SBIR program has enabled firms to broaden their research scope and to accelerate research. Two-thirds of participating firms reported they “definitely” or “probably” would not have undertaken their projects without an NSF SBIR grant. For those who “definitely” or “probably” would have undertaken the project, 84 percent reported that the project would have been