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SBIR at the Department of Defense

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Created in 1982 through the Small Business Innovation Development Act, the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program remains the nation's single largest innovation program for small business. The SBIR program offers competitive awards to support the development and commercialization of innovative technologies by small private-sector businesses. At the same time, the program provides government agencies with technical and scientific solutions that address their different missions.

SBIR at the Department of Defense considers ways that the Department of Defense SBIR program could work better in addressing the congressional objectives for the SBIR program to stimulate technological innovation, use small businesses to meet federal research and development (R & D) needs, foster and encourage the participation of socially and economically disadvantaged small businesses, and increase the private sector commercialization of innovations derived from federal R&D. An earlier report, An Assessment of the Small Business Innovation Research Program at the Department of Defense, studied how the SBIR program has stimulated technological innovation and used small businesses to meet federal research and development needs. This report builds on the previous one, with a revised survey of SBIR companies. SBIR at the Department of Defense revisits some case studies from the 2009 study and develops new ones, and interviews agency managers and other stakeholders to provide a second snapshot of the program's progress toward achieving its legislative goals.


Suggested Citation

National Research Council. 2014. SBIR at the Department of Defense. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

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Publication Info

444 pages | 6 x 9
  • Paperback: 978-0-309-30656-0
  • Ebook: 978-0-309-30659-1

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