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An Assessment of the SBIR Program at the Department of Energy
Produce enhanced reports on the program for DoE management andthe Congress.
DoE should provide Congress with a summary annual report on the SBIR program. This should include descriptive statistics for applications, awards, and outcomes along the dimensions identified in this report, including knowledge creation, technology innovation, and impact on agency mission, as well as commercialization.
Conduct regular internal and external assessments.28
As part of this assessment process, DoE should produce regular reports from the commercialization database. In addition to improved internal assessment capabilities that can be used to enhance program operations, DoE should also commission regular external arms-length evaluations to assess the program progress.
DoE should consider the creation of an independent advisory board that draws together senior agency management, SBIR managers, and other stakeholders as well as outside experts to review current operations and achievements and, as appropriate, recommend changes to the SBIR program.
Managing what should be a data-driven program requires high quality data and systematic assessment, which in turn requires appropriate funding. Increased funding is also needed to provide effective oversight, including site visits, program review, systematic third-party assessments, and other necessary management activities.