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An Assessment of the SBIR Program
would have been delayed and/or would have had a reduced scope. While some efforts have been made to increase participation by woman- and minority-owned businesses, more needs to be done. At DoD and NIH data on these businesses were incomplete or missing. At all of the agencies except NASA, what data there was suggested that there were areas of concern in the program (different areas at different agencies), and it did not appear that the agencies had focused sufficient resources and management attention on these areas.
Support for the Advancement of Scientific and Technical Knowledge. The program funds cutting edge research, as it was designed to do. Most of the agencies use “technical innovation” in some form as a critical selection parameter. Outcomes in the form of patents and peer-reviewed scientific publications are encouraging, with about two-thirds of recipients publishing at least one related scientific paper. Surveys of program managers and technical points of contact at DoD, NASA, and DoE indicated that they saw SBIR projects as approximately equivalent in research quality to non-SBIR projects.52 Moreover, case studies indicate that knowledge generated in SBIR-funded research can be picked up indirectly in many ways, and often continues to be productive long after the original project has been concluded.
It is therefore appropriate to conclude that the program is meeting all four of the congressional objectives.
After results were normalized to eliminate the most favorable and most negative responses.