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Bringing science to market: commercializing from NIH SBIR awards

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Abstract:

We offer empirical information on the correlates of commercialization activity for research projects funded through the US National Institutes of Health's (NIH's) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) award program. Based on this analysis we suggest possible recommendations for improving this aspect of the performance of NIH's SBIR program. Specifically, we estimate a model of the probability of commercialization as a function of the project's ability to attract additional developmental funding, along with other control variables. We find that additional developmental funding from non-SBIR federal sources and from own internal sources are important predictors of commercialization success, relatively more so than additional developmental funding from venture capitalists. We also find, among other things, that university involvement in the underlying research increases the probability of commercialization. Thus, these factors should be considered by NIH when making awards, if increased commercialization is an objective.

Keywords: R&D; small business innovation research program; technology commercialization

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10438590802208166

Affiliations: 1: Department of Economics, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, NC, USA 2: Department of Economics, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, NC, USA,National Bureau of Economic Research, Cambridge, MA, USA

Publication date: January 1, 2009

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