While the NRC study expects a significant response rate, based on the same techniques as have proved successful in the past, it is inherently difficult to predict the precise size of the actual result. Surveys administered in will cover SBIR awards through This would add to the longitudinal capacities of the study. Projects awarded earlier than suffer from potentially irredeemable data loss: Clearly, there are many advantages to online surveys such as cost, speed, possibly response rates , and such surveys can now be created at minimal cost using third party services.
Response rates become clear fairly quickly, and can rapidly indicate needed follow up for non-respondents.
Clarifications of inconsistent responses are also easier using online collection. Finally, online surveys allow dynamic branching of question sets, with some respondents answering selected sub-sets of questions but not others, depending on prior responses. There are also some potential advantages to traditional paper surveys. Paper surveys may be easier to circulate, allowing those responsible at a firm to answer relevant parts of the questionnaire. Firms with multiple SBIR grants also often seek to exercise some quality control over their responses; after assigning surveys to different people, answers may be centrally reviewed for consistency.
It may be appropriate to consider a phased approach to the survey work, with more expensive approaches e. Case studies will be another central component of the study. Second- and third-level benefits in particular will be addressed primarily through focused case studies, as will information about the procurement needs of Federal agencies.
Common threads in the case studies are expected to reveal some of the general characteristics of the program, and may help the Committee to understand some of the data resulting from the surveys and agency databases. A common template or set of templates will be developed for the consistent collection of information; however, interviewers will be accorded sufficient freedom to develop the cases in a way that best suits each case and also to collect additional data relevant to their current lines of inquiry and to agency specific concerns.
The templates will be mapable to the objectives of the study. Each case study template will be pre-tested. Case study questions will focus fruitfully on the firm, in addition to the project. This would allow a different perspective, focusing on questions such as: Why did the firm participate? What types of firm were they? What were their business strategy and plans? Did they seek strategic alliances, partnerships, or investment to commercialize when in the SBIR cycle?
How long did it generally take to produce sales from SBIR? What difficulties did they experience in commercializing SBIR? What impact did SBIR have on company formation and development? Additional questions will focus on the nature of the competitive landscape. Who are the customers and suppliers? How has the marketplace changed and what value does the innovated product introduce to the market?
Case studies will be directed to company officers and individual research scientists, and to appropriate individuals within the funding agency, and possibly in other agencies. The range of selection criteria will be relevant.
It is not likely that a sufficient number of case studies can be conducted to generate statistically valid results for all relevant issues: However, it may also be possible to undertake a sufficient number of cases to generate statistically valid results for a limited set of questions. The interview data mentioned above can be used to supplement case studies, or a small subset of case study questions could be generated for responses from prior interviewees.
It will be important to ensure that the case studies are at least minimally comparable with information collected and the reports generated. By developing n integrated case-study guide and data collection templates the Committee can synthesize information needed for the final report.
Rather, a goal of the study will be to determine if the commercialization or its timing or some other associated attribute of importance was likely caused by the SBIR award. Evaluation is directed at ruling out alternative, competing explanations of an observed change.
In selecting comparison groups, it is important to ensure that they do not differ in important ways other than participation. Additionality tests can be strengthened by using statistical tools and econometric techniques to help rule out other causes.
Use of a control group will entail the comparison of a program group with a comparable group that did not participate in the program. Although identifying appropriate control groups will be challenging and can be controversial, the approach is worth considering. Good examples of the use of control groups in evaluation are also available from ATP studies, where they have been used in conjunction with surveys and supporting econometric analysis. Special studies may be required that use methods other than surveys and case studies—such as bibliometric or sociometric analysis.
Such needs will be determined as the study progresses. Also Annex A in this volume. Studies in Competitive Perfomance. National Academy Press, , p. Mowery examines eleven economic sectors, contrasting the improved performance of many industries in the late s with the apparent decline that was subject to much scrutiny in the s.
Among the studies highlighting poor economic performance in the s are Dertouzos, et al. DRI Report on U. Manufacturing Industries , New York: Industrial Research at the End of an Era.
Harvard Business Press, For an account of the growing importance of the small firm in employment and innovation, see Zoltan J. Acs and David B. Audretsch, Innovation and Small Business. MIT Press, , p. For specifics on job growth, see Steven J. More recently, a report by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development OECD notes that small and medium-sized enterprises are attracting the attention of policy makers, not least because they are seen as major sources of economic vitality, flexibility, and employment.
Small business is especially important as a source of new employment, accounting for a disproportionate share of job creation. Facts, Obstacles, and Best Practices , Paris, With the accord of the Small Business Administration, which plays an oversight role for the program, this amount can be higher in certain circumstances; e. NSF, for example, has what is called a Phase II-B program that allocates additional funding to help potentially promising technology develop further and attract private matching funds.
Building a New Alliance , Washington, D. National Academy Press, , pp. General Accounting Office, , Federal Research: United States General Accounting Office. As characterized by the GAO, GPRA seeks to shift the focus of government decision-making and accountability away from a preoccupation with the activities that are undertaken - such as grants dispensed or inspections made - to a focus on the results of those activities.
Small Business Innovation Research shows success but can be strengthened. General Accounting Office, See Annex C for a list of agency reports. Challenges and Opportunities , C. National Academy Press, National Academies Press, Particularly, with respect to DoD, methodological comparability will be sought to enable multiyear comparisons. National Academy Press, , for a potential model of how an agency can use SBIR to help foster specific areas of technical expertise.
The paper, however, does not address the extent to which this is a conscious goal of DoD. A key objective of the Small Business Innovation Development Act is to increase private sector commercialization derived from federal research and development. The role of SBIR in stimulating commercialization was cited as a justification in the reauthorization of the Act in For a profile of Qualcomm, see http: Though commonly conceived as a linear process, innovation is characterized by significant complexity.
Progam Diversity and Assessmen Challenges , C. The employment effects of research are most often indirect—through the application or commercialization of the research. Evaluating Technology-Based Institutions , Boston: Kluwer Academic Publishers, Link and Scott use published agency data and interviews to determine key indicators, including private hurdle rates, additional anticipated development time after Phase II, additional cost, life of the commercialized technology, and proportion of value appropriated by firm.
These allow estimates of social and private returns. Intellectual property is divided into two categories: Indusrial property , which includes inventions patents , trademarks, industrial designs, and geographic indications of source; and Copyright , which includes literary and artistic works such as novels, poems and plays, films, musical works, artistic works such as drawings, paintings, photographs and sculptures, and architectural designs.
Rights related to copyright include those of performing artists in their performances, producers of phonograms in their recordings, and those of broadcasters in their radio and television programs. According to the Small Business Administration, a small business is a concern that is organized for profit, with a place of business in the United States, and which operates primarily within the United States or makes a significant contribution to the U.
Further, the concern cannot be dominant in its field, on a national basis. Finally, the concern must meet the numerical small business size standard for its industry. SBA has established a size standard for most industries in the U. See also parameters of non-economic benefits, especially Knowledge Benefits, p. Feldman and Maryellen R. The impact of the Advanced Technology Program. The web site inknowvation.
Many empirical studies suggest that small firms are more innovative than large firms or, at minimum, that the difference between large and small firm innovative activity is statistically insignificant. See Zoltan Acs and David B. Audretsch , Innovation and Small Firms Cambridge: Caballero and Adam B. Jaffe ,"How high are the giants' shoulders: A Window on the Knowledge Economy Cambridge: Concerns relating to size-dependant bias can be addressed by employing James Heckman's well-known techniques for controlling for the effects of sample selection bias.
John Scott has recently employed such methods in a survey he conducted on environmental research. See John Scott, T. Edward Elgar Publishing, It will be interesting to see if including such controls for firm size in our econometric analysis confirms or rejects the hypothesis that there will be a size dependant bias as a result of the selection of indicators in which large firms will score more broadly than small ones.
Another pragmatic step we will take to address this issue is to make sure that any metrics we use are normalized for firm size e. See Annex D for a list of these reports. It involved an 80 in-person and 69 telephone interviews with SBIR firms, interviews with DoD program managers and laboratory officials. This study, completed in October , is unpublished.
This study, completed in July is unpublished. See GAO op. An unpublished study by the SBA was completed in , and an unpublished study by DoD was completed in See footnote 27 for description. All prior efforts addressed only phase II. NIH and perhaps other agencies have indicated that they would be interested in a survey of Phase I winners that did not submit or did not win Phase II award. Tech-Net is an electronic gateway of technology information and resources, maintained by SBA, for and about small high tech businesses.
It provides a search engine for researchers, scientists, state, federal, and local government officials, can serve as a marketing tool for small firms, and can "link" investment opportunities for investors and other sources of capital. Agencies have often reported information that is not mandatory so some of the above is available for many projects.
It had phone numbers for just over half of the named PI. Number of firm employees was entered in 5 percent of the entries. For a review of methodologies for evaluating technology programs, see D. See additional discussion related to the counterfactual issue in Section 7 of this chapter, pp.
A survey is a methodological tool for collecting information to meet a study's objective. Responses to questions about size are often faulty. Some proposal writers enter the size of their division of the company, rather than whole company.
Some pull a number out of the air based on the last estimate they heard. A company may apparently vary substantially in size on several proposals that were awarded the same year even proposals submitted within days of each other.
However, by grouping the sizes in broad groups most of this type of variation can be avoided. One should keep in mind that companies may be very small, for early awards, grow, while continuing to submit, eventually becoming no longer eligible over then shrink and start submitting again. What is relevant is the size at the time of the award. The matrix is provided in Annex G. Yin, Case Study Research: National Institute of Standards and Technology, As noted, the SBIR program has not been extensively researched, particularly in light of the program's size and 20 year history.
General Accounting Office, , , While Wallsten's paper has the virtue of being one of the first attempts to assess the impact of SBIR, Josh Lerner questions whether employing a regression framework to assess the marginal impact of public funding on private research spending is the most appropriate tool in assessing public efforts to assist small high technology firms.
Challenges and Opportunities , op. An overview, Journal of Banking and Finance , vol. More broadly, recent research has shown evidence of additionality. Assessing the Impact of the U. For a further discussion, see R. National Institute of Standards and Technology, May See, for example, J. National Institute of Standards and Technology, April Baal, and Tayler H.
Turn recording back on. National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. A Brief History of the SBIR Program In the s, the country's slow pace in commercializing new technologies—compared especially with the global manufacturing and marketing success of Japanese firms in autos, steel, and semiconductors—led to serious concern in the United States about the nation's ability to compete.
The conference's recommendation to proceed with a program for small business innovation research was grounded in: Broader difficulties among small businesses in raising capital in a period of historically high interest rates; and. Research suggesting that small businesses were fertile sources of job creation. Phase I is essentially a feasibility study in which award winners undertake a limited amount of research aimed at establishing an idea's scientific and commercial promise.
This phase normally does not involve SBIR funds, but is the stage at which grant recipients should be obtaining additional funds either from a procurement program at the agency that made the award, from private investors, or from the capital markets. The objective of this phase is to move the technology to the prototype stage and into the marketplace. SBIR enjoyed strong support both within and outside the Beltway. At the same time, the size and significance of SBIR underscored the need for more research on how well it is working and how its operations might be optimized.
There should be additional clarification about the primary emphasis on commercialization within SBIR, and about how commercialization is defined. There should also be clarification on how to evaluate SBIR as a single program that is applied by different agencies in different ways.
Preparing the Current Assessment of SBIR As noted, the legislation mandating the current assessment of the nation's SBIR program focuses on the five agencies that account for 96 percent of program expenditures although the National Research Council is seeking to learn of the views and practices of other agencies administering the program as well. These contracts identify the following principal tasks: Collection and analysis of agency databases and studies,. An Overview of the Study Process Following its approval of the broad study parameters of the study in October , the Committee set out an overall roadmap to guide the research process.
The elements of this multi-step process are detailed below: Agree on initial guidelines. These initial guidelines are based on the legislation, the Memorandum of Understanding, and contracts.
What central questions must the study answer? What other interesting but optional questions should be addressed? What questions will specifically not be considered? This is discussed further in Section 3 of this chapter. This is a necessary step before developing the relevant metrics. This is discussed further in Section 4 of this chapter. Identify metrics for addressing study objectives. The Committee will determine extent of commercialization fostered by SBIR—measured in terms of products procured by agencies, commercial sales, licensing revenue, or other metrics.
This is discussed further in Section 5 of this chapter. Implementation of agreed metrics requires data. A wide mix of data sources will be used, so the availability of existing data and the feasibility of collecting needed data by different methods will also condition the selection of metrics, and the choice of study methods. The existence or absence of specific methodologies and data sets will undoubtedly lead to the modification, adoption, or elimination of specific metrics and methods.
This is discussed further in Section 6 of this chapter. Develop primary research methodologies. The study's primary research components will include interviews, surveys, and case studies to supplement existing data. Control groups and counterfactual approaches will be used where feasible and appropriate to isolate the effects of the SBIR program. Other evaluation methods may also be used on a limited basis as needed to address questions not effectively addressed by the principal methods.
This is discussed further in Section 7 of this report. Phase I of the NRC study will be formally completed once a set of methodologies is developed and documented, is approved by the Committee, and passes successfully through the Academy's peer review process. The variety of tasks involved in implementing the research program is previewed in Annex I of this report. Results from the research program will be presented in five agency-specific reports—one for each of the agencies.
Where appropriate, agency-specific findings and recommendations will be formulated by the relevant study subcommittee for review and approval by the full Committee. A separate summary report, buttressed by the relevant commissioned work and bringing together the findings of the individual agency reports, along with general recommendations, will be produced for distribution. This final report will also draw out, as appropriate, the contrasts and similarities among the agencies in the way they administer SBIR.
It will follow the approval procedure outlined above. Organize public meetings to review and discuss findings. Following report review, findings and recommendations will be presented publicly for information, review, and comment.
Clarifying Study Objectives Three primary documents condition and define the objectives for this study: According to the legislation, the study should: Developing Operational Definitions and Concepts The study will identify core operational terms and concepts in advance of full development of the methodology. The following represents an initial identification of some terms and concepts: SBIR's value to agency missions Given that agency missions and their associated sub-unit objectives differ substantially among, and even within agencies, the issue of SBIR's value to agency missions will be addressed largely in the context of individual agency analysis.
Generic mission elements include: Expansion or commercialization of knowledge in agency's field of stewardship e. Technology may become available to the sponsoring agency and others through a variety of paths. Purchase by the agency on the open market via successful commercialization by the SBIR firm e. Use by others of the technology whose development is sponsored by the agency and made available through such means as licensing, partnership arrangements, or by purchase on the open market.
The extent of commercialization SBIR is charged with supporting the commercialization of technologies developed with federal government support. Sales—what constitutes a sale? Application—how is the product used? For example, products like software are re-used repeatedly. Measuring scale—over what interval is the impact to be measured. The question arises as to how long the dollar value of Qualcomm's wireless related sales, stemming from its original SBIR grant, should be counted.
Licensing—how should commercial sales generated by third party licensees of the original technology be counted. Is the licensing revenue from the licensee to be counted, or the sales of that technology by the licensee— or both? Complex sales—technologies are often sold as bundles with other technologies auto engines with mufflers for example.
Given this, how is the share of the total sales value attributable to the technology that received SBIR funding to be defined? Lags—some technologies reach market rapidly, but others can take 10 years or more. What is an appropriate discount rate and timeframe to measure award impact? Broad economic effects SBIR programs may generate a wide range of economic effects. Participating firms Economic effects on firms include some or all of the following elements: Revenue from sale or adoption of SBIR-developed products, services, or processes this tracks quite closely but not percent with commercialization.
Changes in the firm's access to capital, including ways in which SBIR awards have helped or hindered recipient companies access capital markets. Change in firm viability and sustainability, i ncluding how t he SBIR program helped bridge the gaps between these interrelated stages of the innovation process; Change in employment and capitalization Work in this section will follow closely on the Fast Track study model, seeking to identify ways in which the recipient firms were affected in the areas listed.
The agencies Effects on the agencies include the following: Effects on mission support. SBIR has helped to generate technologies that agencies might not otherwise have developed in the same timeframe without the program. SBIR is an effective way for agencies to fund competitive research, presumably compared to non-SBIR research funding for small scale requirements.
There are significant benefits to agency missions from the specific effort of SBIR to capture research by small firms. Effects on society Social returns r efer to the returns to society at large, including private returns and spillover effects. Small business support refers to the positive social externalities associated with a vibrant small business sector, including community cohesiveness and improvements to life made possible new products.
Non-economic benefits While it is possible to view almost all non-economic effects through the lens of economic analysis, pushing all effects to economic measurement is usually not feasible and may not be appropriate. Knowledge benefits The missions of several agencies explicitly state the requirement of advancing knowledge in the relevant field.
For the SBIR program, this requirement can be viewed from two distinct but complementary perspectives: Intellectual property, 41 which is governed by a set of legal definitions, and is susceptible to close measurement via analysis of patent filings and other largely quantitative assessment strategies.
At the same time, mechanisms of intellectual property can help to disseminate knowledge to others. A patent, for example, gives the holder exclusive rights, but provides information to others.
These may be less susceptible to measurement. Non-property knowledge is much less well defined but nonetheless of great importance. Non-property knowledge ranges from formal activities e. Many relevant concepts are discussed in the literature on human capital. Non-property knowledge is related to education and training and encompasses network capital and tacit expertise that an engineer or scientist may possess.
Other potential non-economic benefits Environmental impacts. Best practices and procedures in operating SBIR programs Issues related to administrative process, both within agencies and across agencies, will be defined over the course of the first phase of the NRC study. Areas to be addressed may include: Potential Metrics for Addressing Study Objectives In keeping with the definitions and concepts in the previous section, the NRC study will identify the desired measures for expressing results related to each of the objectives defined in section 3, Clarifying Study Objectives.
Research quality 44 Internal measures of research quality—These will be based on comparative survey results from agency managers with respect to the quality of SBIR-funded research versus the quality of other agency research.
It is important here to recognize that standards and reviewer biases in the selection for SBIR awards in the selection of other awards may vary. The alignment between agency SBIR objectives and agency mission. The change in the time elapsed between a proposal arriving on an agency's desk and the contract arriving at the small business;. Agency success metrics — how does the agency assess and reward management performance?
Time elapsed between a proposal arriving on an agency's desk and the contract arriving at the small business. Commercialization First order metrics for commercialization revolve around these basic areas: Broad economic benefits For firms Support for firm development, which may include:. Creation of a firm i. Other pre-revenues activities aimed at commercialization, such as entry into regulatory pipeline and development of prototypes.
For agencies Aside from mission support and procurement Enhanced research efficiency. For society at large Social returns include private returns, agency returns, and spillover effects from research, development, and commercialization of new products, processes, and services associated with SBIR projects.
It is difficult, if not impossible, to capture social returns fully, but an attempt will be made to capture at least part of the effects beyond those identified above including the following: Evidence of spillover effects. Non-economic benefits Knowledge benefits Intellectual property. Other non-economic benefits Given the complexity of the NRC study, the Committee is unlikely to devote substantial resources to this area. Best practices in SBIR funding It will be important to analyze the categories below with respect to the size of the firm.
Recipient views on process. Many awardees may have a stake in the programs that have funded them, and consequently feel inclined to give favorable answers i.
This may be a particular problem in the case of the SBIR initiative, since many small high-technology company executives have organized to lobby for its renewal. Some firms may be unwilling to acknowledge that they received important benefits from participating in public programs, lest they attract unwelcome attention.
It may simply be very difficult to identify the marginal contribution of an SBIR award, which may be one of many sources of financing that a firm employed to develop a given technology. This source of bias concerns whether SBIR awards firms that already have the characteristics needed for a higher growth rate and survival, although the extent of this bias is likely overdrawn since an important role of SBIR is to telegraph information about firms to markets operating under conditions of imperfect information.
The relationship between firm size and innovative activity is not clear from the academic literature. A planned survey of all individuals within studied agencies having SBIR program management responsibilities that is, going beyond the single "Program Manager" in a given agency. The survey will be designed and implemented with the objective of minimizing framing bias.
Important areas of inquiry include study of the process by which topics are defined, solicitations developed, projects scored, and award selections made. In a business research paper, the universally accepted written structure carries out a dual purpose.
First, it allows the writer to state the objectives of the research and to reinforce their importance from different perspectives in different sections. Back to 'how to write' research paper guides -- Free Business term papers. The outline below highlights the essence of each structural section of the business research paper:. The uniqueness of a business research paper is that it deals with business facts both as sources for literature analysis and as components of a business proposition.
This characteristic serves as the framework for developing the paper content:. The choice of topic for a business research paper is crucial.
The topic should be narrow and manageable for the researcher. However, it should also appeal to a wide spectrum of populations, including direct and secondary stakeholders, clients, and so on. In addition, the topic needs to have practical applicability. Market and competitor analyses are among popular research topics, as well as feasibility studies.
The Introduction is the preliminary description of the current situation. It is further developed through Literature Review and the research. A thoughtful Methods section is the key component of a research paper. It has to include the definitions and descriptions of all target populations, sampling techniques, the methods of data collection, and the approach to data analysis. Each element of this section should work as a liaison between the previous sections — Introduction and Literature Review — and the Discussion that follows.
This section provides justification for the claim that the business proposal could significantly improve the business situation analyzed in the Literature review. Overall, the quality of the paper highly depends on the quality of the Methods section.
Small Business Enterprise or Small-Medium Enterprise (SME), in today's business environment, faces a lot of daily major challenges. Balancing the SME’s effort to address these challenges can be an intimidating task, unless a systematic approach is .
Business Topics for Research Paper: Success of Small Businesses Though big companies have more sources for product enhancing and advertising, they sometimes lose small businesses in definite niches, such as .
Dealing With A 10 Page Paper Assignment: The Best Business Topics. A page paper will not seem such a great deal of work if you have a broad and interesting topic to explore throughout it. Business is rich in such topics. Here are several examples: Workplace diversity. Examine the policies used by companies to promote diversity in the workplace. With small business research, these leaders will be provided with understanding of leadership activities that are necessary for specific position if achievement of organizational objectives and goals is to be enhanced.
In a small business, marketing puts emphasis on how important customers are to thesuccess of the business. (“Marketing ”) Small business owners have to create a marketingplan that will maximize purchases and get the most publicity to boost the reputation of thecompany. (Kennedy 55) “There are four parts to this effort: 1. As the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program approached its twentieth year of operation, the U.S. Congress requested that the National Research Council (NRC) conduct a “comprehensive study of how the SBIR program has stimulated technological innovation and used small businesses to meet federal research and development .