ارزیابی برنامه پژوهش نوآوری کسب و کار کوچک NASA: شواهد اولیه از تجارت کردن بین تجاری سازی و پژوهش های بنیادی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|22340||2003||15 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||7843 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Research Policy, Volume 32, Issue 4, April 2003, Pages 605–619
In 1982, the Small Business Innovation Development Act established the small business innovation research (SBIR) program. This program reserves a percentage of federal agencies’ extramural R&D budgets for research projects conducted by small businesses. When this Act was reauthorized in 1992, the selection criteria for funding dramatically increased the likelihood of funding for projects that promised to lead to commercial success. Using data from a survey of the SBIR program award recipients at NASA Langley Research Center, we address three questions about this change: (i) was there a shift to projects with more commercial potential? (ii) did these projects experience higher rates of commercial success? and (iii) was there a reduction in basic research accompanying the increased commercial success? Our analysis suggests, the answer to all three of these questions is ‘yes’.
The Small Business Innovation Development Act of 19821 created a set aside program for research funded by federal agencies but conducted by small businesses. In 1992, the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program was reauthorized. The Small Business Innovation Reauthorization Act of 19922 both raised the percentage of research expenditures dedicated to the SBIR program and increased the importance of the goal of commercializing SBIR projects. In this paper, we investigate the effects of the change in importance of the commercialization goal using the results of a survey of SBIR projects funded by the NASA Langley Research Center. We present evidence on three questions concerning the increase in the importance of commercialization. Our first question concerns the effects of this change on NASA’s behavior. Has the selection process for the SBIR program increased its emphasis on commercial success? Our results suggest that it has. Commercial success has increased importance since 1992. This leads to the final two questions. Has this shift in emphasis on commercial success actually led to more commercial success? And, has this shift in emphasis on commercial success come at the expense of something else? Specifically, any research project is likely to yield a mix of benefits, some of which have potential to lead to commercial success and others that cannot be put to immediate use in the marketplace. Policymakers and evaluators should be concerned that these non-market outcomes have decreased as the emphasis on commercial success has increased. Our results suggest that the answer to both of these questions is yes. The increased emphasis on commercial success has led to more commercial success, and the increased emphasis on commercial success has been associated with a decrease in basic research. The paper follows in four sections. In Section 2, we briefly describe the SBIR program and the data from the survey of NASA Langley SBIR contractors, conducted in the summer of 1995. In Section 3, we present evidence of a change in emphasis in NASA’s selection process for projects. In Section 4, we present our analysis of the relationship between measures of commercialization and basic research. The conclusions are presented in Section 5.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Using a survey of the outcomes from the NASA Langley Research Center SBIR contracts, we have found that, ceteris paribus, there has been an increase in measured rates of commercial success in the SBIR program following the 1992 change in legislation reauthorizing the program. This is not a surprising result. Federal agencies, and their subunits, are usually very responsive to Congress. The 1992 legislation increased the emphasis on commercial success in the SBIR program, and we found that the NASA Langley Research Center responded accordingly. The important question is: were there the unintended consequences of this change? In theory, one should be concerned that following the 1992 reauthorization of the SBIR program federal research units might alter their research projects to emphasize those more likely to achieve commercial outcomes. This could lead the federal government into areas best left to the private sector, and leave uncovered the area in which the federal government can make its most compelling argument for research funds. Our results suggest this is more than a theoretical possibility. We found clear evidence of a shift in the types of projects selected toward projects with cost advantages away from those with purely technical advantages. In addition, we found that following 1992 there was more evidence of commercial success and less evidence of basic research. The enhanced commercial success from the SBIR program appears to have come at the expense of a decrease in the search for technical competence and basic research. The reduction in basic research is a potentially important consequence of the 1992 legislation, and we are inclined to think it was an unintended consequence. The result will be that the time path of measurable technological progress, which shows up in measures such as output per worker, are likely to increase in the short run and decline in the long run. The SBIR program, as it currently is run, places an emphasis on supporting research that will get the innovations from the federal laboratories out to the commercial sector more rapidly. In itself this is a laudable goal. Unfortunately, to the extent that this comes at the expense of moving the technological frontier, it is a short-sighted policy. The benefits of research at government laboratories will go up in the short run, but they may go down in the long run. There are several caveats we need to make. First, responses to our survey may be biased toward commercially successful firms. This may bias our results toward finding a greater increase in commercial success relative to research success. Second, the SBIR program, though it is growing, still represents a very small proportion of total research spending. It is possible that there is no overall change in the research that is funded by the federal government. It may be that agencies shift the projects with a larger commercial possibility to the SBIR program and shift other projects to internal research units. By this mechanism, the overall mix of research projects could be unaffected by the changes in the SBIR program. Third, while our results suggest there is a trade-off, we only have evidence from one NASA research center, so our results are not even representative of the NASA SBIR program let alone the national SBIR program. Much more study, involving other NASA centers, other agencies, and covering a longer time period, needs to be done in order to determine the importance of our findings.