• Expand linkages. Improved linkages with other programs (e.g., ManTech) might be enhanced to facilitate the Phase III transition.33

  • Interest primes. Encouragement for the growing interest of the prime contractors on the SBIR Program’s outputs and opportunities for partnering with SBIR companies. Consideration should be given to performance incentives for further encouraging development of SBIR supported technologies.34

  • Expand commercialization assistance. Expanded commercialization programs that provide training, counseling, and networking opportunities.35

  • Develop program profile. DoD leadership should take steps to improve the perception of the SBIR program’s potential and accomplishments within the department, address obstacles to fulfilling the program’s potential, and seek resources to enhance program operation and outcomes as a means of generating the attention and partnering needed for the program to operate most effectively.36

  • Encourage pilot programs. Making changes initially through pilot programs allows DoD to alter selected areas on a provisional basis; a uniform approach is unlikely to work well for all components of a program that funds highly diverse projects with very different capital requirements and very different product development cycles.37 DoD should also identify best practices across the SBIR program, and implement them as appropriate, across the Department.38

  • Improve management and assessment. Additional funding should be provided for program management and assessment in order to encourage and support the development of a results-oriented SBIR program. Effective management requires additional staff and funding. To manage the program effectively requires better monitoring of awardees, enhanced efforts to facilitate commercialization, the regular collection of higher-quality data and its more systematic assessment. Currently, sufficient resources are not available for these functions.

  • Expand evaluation. DoD should substantially strengthen and expand its evaluation efforts in order to further develop a program culture that is driven by outcomes and backed by internal and external evaluations.39

    • DoD—like the other SBIR agencies—should be encouraged to develop and provide to Congress a comprehensive annual report on SBIR. This

33

See Recommendation A-6 in Chapter 2. The U.S. Army Manufacturing Technology (ManTech) Program supports the development and implementation of advanced manufacturing technologies for the production of Army Material.

34

See Recommendation A-8 in Chapter 2.

35

See Recommendation A-9 in Chapter 2.

36

See Recommendation B in Chapter 2.

37

See Recommendation E-1 in Chapter 2.

38

See Box 2-2.

39

See Recommendation C in Chapter 2.



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