TABLE 5-1 Survey Question: Why Is Your Firm No Longer Applying to the NIH SBIR Program? (Multiple answers permitted.)

Response

Number of Responses

Percent of Responses

1 Company is out of business

81

12.2

2 No longer a research oriented company

24

3.6

3 No longer working in technical areas that are likely to be funded by NIH

31

4.7

4 The competition for awards is such that the likelihood of winning an award is too small to justify the effort to apply

102

15.3

5 The selection mechanism is not one that we believe will allow us to make winning proposals

96

14.4

6 Risk to our IP or business secrets during the selection procedure is too high

25

3.8

7 The delays in funding are too long to make the effort worthwhile

89

13.4

8 No longer eligible for the program because we have more than 500 employees

12

1.8

9 No longer eligible for the program because we are now a publicly owned company with more than 50 percent institutional ownership

10

1.5

10 No longer eligible for the program because we are majority foreign-owned

7

1.1

11 No longer eligible for the program because we are majority institution-owned (e.g., by venture capital companies)

12

1.8

12 The size of awards is insufficient to justify the effort involved in applying

69

10.4

13 Other

108

16.2

(Denominator)

666

100.0

SOURCE: NRC Non-participant Survey.

respondents to identify the single primary reason for not applying to the program. The results are summarized in Table 5-2.

Firms that indicate ownership-related concerns in Table 5-2 also indicate that these issues tend to dominate their application decisions. Of the 12 respondents that mentioned venture ownership as a reason for not applying, eight (or two-thirds) identified this as the primary reason. However, we should also note that this still only accounts for 2.5 percent of all responses.

In contrast, the company going out of business was the most important single reason—although this merely reflects the normal, but high, levels of churn among small, early-stage companies. More than one-third of all respondents indicated that some characteristic of the program—notably the degree of competition for awards and concerns about the selection mechanism—were their primary reasons for non-application. Conversely, 6 percent indicated that ownership considerations prevented further applications for funding.



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