had published at least one scientific paper related to their SBIR grant. About 33 percent of those with publications had published only a single paper, but one company had published 165 papers on the basis of its SBIR project, and several others had published at least 50 (as shown in Table 4-24).

This data set fits well with case studies and interviews, which suggest that SBIR companies are proud of the quality of their research. Publications are featured prominently on many grantee Web sites, and companies like Advanced Brain Monitoring, SAM Technologies, and Polymer Research all made a point of stating during interviews that their work was of the highest technical quality, as measured in the peer-reviewed publications.

Publications therefore fill two important roles in the study of SBIR programs.

First, they provide an indication of the quality of the research being conducted with program funds. More than half of the funded projects appear to be of sufficient value to generate at least one publication.

Second, publications are themselves the primary mechanism through which knowledge is transmitted within the scientific community. The existence of articles based on SBIR projects is therefore direct evidence that the results of these projects are being disseminated widely. This, in turn, implies the NIH SBIR is meeting its congressional mandate to support scientific outcomes. It is useful to note that the non-SBIR portion of the NIH research program does not have any mechanism in place for determining whether similar knowledge effects are being generated at the same rate as in the SBIR program. Note also that comparisons with SBIR programs at other agencies may be less than completely valid, as the publishing culture may be different outside the biomedical scientific world.

4.5.3
SBIR and Universities

SBIR can have further effects on the spread of knowledge through the involvement of university staff and students in SBIR projects. For example,

TABLE 4-24 Publications

Number of Publications

Number of Responses

Total Publications

1

72

72

2

52

104

3

32

96

4

19

76

5

15

75

6-10

15

133

11-30

9

146

30+

7

420

Totals

236

1,122

SOURCE: NRC Phase II Survey.



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