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An Assessment of the SBIR Program at the Department of Defense
FIGURE 4-1 Status of surveyed projects.
NOTE: The NRC deployed two surveys to the population of Phase II recipients as part of the research conducted for this project. The NRC Phase II Survey focused on individual projects. In addition, the NRC Firm Survey was sent to every firm receiving a Phase II award between 1992 and 2001, and focused on firm-level questions. Unless otherwise stated, all references here to the NRC Survey are to the project survey.
SOURCE: NRC Phase II Survey.
These data indicate that 46 percent of surveyed projects reported some revenues from their project; a further 18 percent were still in development and expected sales, and 5 percent had not yet completed Phase II.
126.96.36.199 Sales Ranges
Early-stage technology projects are inherently risky. As a result, there is a very skewed distribution of results. Many projects generate no commercial results at all, and relatively few of those that do reach the market have substantial commercial successes (see Figure 4-2).
The data suggest that at DoD—as at other agencies—the overwhelming majority of sales are concentrated in the $0–$1 million range. Ten percent of reporting projects generated at least $5 million in revenues, while more than 65 percent of respondents with sales reported total sales of less than $1 million revenues (as of May 2005, the date of the survey). As a result of this very skewed distribution, the mean amount of sales for all companies that reported sales was $2,894,834, while the median was $500,000.
Underreporting of Sales Results. The average total sales for older projects is much higher than for recent ones. In fact, the average sales for the 176 reporting DoD projects awarded Phase II contracts from 1992 to 1994 was $2.78 million, whereas the average sales for the 415 reporting DoD projects awarded Phase II