Business research

Research programs for small businesses: Agencies should take steps to assess progress toward technology commercialization

Small Business Administration The Director of the Office of Investment and Innovation within the SBA should work with participating agencies to improve the reliability of its SBIR and STTR attribution data (Recommendation 1).

Closed – Implemented

Actions that meet the intent of the recommendation have been taken.

The SBA accepted the recommendation. In preparing its data for its annual reports to Congress for fiscal years 2016 and 2017 — released in April 2019 and September 2019, respectively — the SBA identified and resolved a number of issues with the data in its SBIR database. gov. For example, SBA has worked with agencies to correct more than 2,200 errors in the DUNS or EIN numbers used to identify winners. Additionally, SBA has changed its data system to automatically report errors when agencies upload their data. For example, the data system now flags data entries if the award start date is later than the award end date. These changes should improve the reliability of data in the SBIR.gov database.

Small Business Administration The Director of the Office of Investment and Innovation within the SBA should work with participating agencies to implement the commercialization benchmark or, if that is not possible, revise the benchmark so that it can be implemented (recommendation 2).

Closed – Implemented

Actions that meet the intent of the recommendation have been taken.

The SBA accepted the recommendation. In March 2021, SBA implemented the Commercialization Benchmark by analyzing the number of Phase II awards received by companies from 2010 to 2019, as reported in the SBIR.gov awards database. The SBA plans to perform this assessment annually with the Transition Benchmark assessment.

Small Business Administration The Director of the Office of Investment and Innovation within the SBA should update the SBIR and STTR policy guidelines to accurately reflect how the consequences of the benchmarks are to be implemented ( recommendation 3).

Closed – Implemented

Actions that meet the intent of the recommendation have been taken.

The SBA accepted the recommendation. The SBA’s April 2019 update to the SBIR and STTR policy guidelines—effective May 2019—revised the consequence of not meeting the benchmarks to indicate that the small business would not be eligible to submit an application. new price proposal, in accordance with how the benchmark consequence has been implemented.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration The Department of Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration SBIR Program Manager should update the agency’s SBIR project solicitation to accurately reflect how the consequence of not meeting the benchmarks should be implemented. implemented (recommendation 4).

Closed – Implemented

Actions that meet the intent of the recommendation have been taken.

The Department of Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) accepted the recommendation. In November 2018, NOAA issued a new project solicitation for the SBIR program that accurately reflected how the consequences of failing to meet the benchmarks were to be implemented.

defense department The SBIR Program Administrator within the Department of Defense should update the agency’s SBIR and STTR project solicitations to accurately reflect how the consequence of not meeting benchmarks is to be implemented. implemented (recommendation 5).

Closed – Implemented

Actions that meet the intent of the recommendation have been taken.

The Department of Defense (DOD) accepted the recommendation. In its April 2018 SBIR and STTR solicitations, the DOD revised the consequences of not meeting benchmarks to indicate that companies that do not meet benchmarks are ineligible to submit a proposal for one year. in accordance with how the consequence of the referral was implemented. .

Department of Education The SBIR program manager within the Department of Education should update the agency’s SBIR project solicitation to accurately reflect how the consequence of not meeting the benchmarks should be implemented (recommendation 6).

Closed – Implemented

Actions that meet the intent of the recommendation have been taken.

The Ministry of Education accepted the recommendation. In December 2017, after we sent out the draft report for comment, the Department of Education issued a new draft solicitation containing language that accurately reflected how the consequences of failing to meet the benchmarks should be implemented.

Ministry of Energy The SBIR program manager within the Department of Energy should update the agency’s combined SBIR and STTR project solicitation to accurately reflect how the consequence of not meeting the benchmarks should be implemented. implemented (recommendation 7).

Closed – Implemented

Actions that meet the intent of the recommendation have been taken.

The Department of Energy accepted the recommendation. In November 2017, the Department of Energy issued a new project solicitation for the SBIR and STTR programs that accurately reflected how the consequences of failing to meet the benchmarks were to be implemented.

Department of Health and Social Services The SBIR/STTR program coordinator within the Department of Health and Human Services should update the agency’s SBIR and STTR project solicitations to accurately reflect how the consequence of not meeting the benchmark should be implemented (recommendation 8).

Closed – Implemented

Actions that meet the intent of the recommendation have been taken.

The Department of Health and Social Services accepted the recommendation. In January 2018, the Department of Health and Human Services released new project solicitations for the SBIR and STTR programs that accurately reflected how the consequences of not meeting benchmarks were to be implemented.

Department of Homeland Security The SBIR Program Director within the Department of Homeland Security should update the agency’s SBIR Project Solicitation to accurately reflect how the consequence of not meeting benchmarks should be implemented (recommendation 9).

Closed – Implemented

Actions that meet the intent of the recommendation have been taken.

The Department of Homeland Security accepted the recommendation. In December 2017, after we provided the draft report for comment, the Department of Homeland Security issued a new draft solicitation that accurately reflected how the consequences of failing to meet the benchmarks were to be implemented. .

Environmental Protection Agency The SBIR program manager within the Environmental Protection Agency should update the agency’s SBIR project solicitation to accurately reflect how the consequence of not meeting the benchmarks should be implementation (recommendation 10).

Closed – Implemented

Actions that meet the intent of the recommendation have been taken.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) accepted the recommendation. The EPA’s fiscal year 2019 SBIR project solicitation, released on June 13, 2018, included updated wording regarding references. The invitation directed applicants to the SBA’s Performance Criteria website for information about the consequences of not meeting the criteria. The quoted website reflects the current consequence of not meeting benchmarks.

national science foundation The SBIR and STTR program manager within the National Science Foundation should update the agency’s SBIR and STTR project solicitations to accurately reflect how the consequence of failing to meet benchmarks should be addressed. implemented (recommendation 11).

Closed – Implemented

Actions that meet the intent of the recommendation have been taken.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) accepted the recommendation. In September 2018, the NSF released new project solicitations for the SBIR and STTR programs that accurately reflected how the consequences of failing to meet the benchmarks were to be implemented.