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Project Information

Project Information

Review of the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer Programs at the National Science Foundation

Project Scope:

In response to a Congressional mandate, an ad hoc committee will conduct a study of the economic and non-economic benefits of the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs at the National Science Foundation (NSF). Drawing on published research plus existing data, the committee will examine:

1) The economic and non-economic impacts of NSF's SBIR and STTR programs;
2) The programs' effectiveness at stimulating technological innovation and meeting the NSF’s vision of supporting small, new firms across the technological spectrum and the role of the programs in providing early capital to firms without other significant sources of support;
3) The effectiveness of the programs in stimulating new collaborations, including the identification and assessment of any obstacles that may prevent or inhibit the creation of such collaborations; an investigation and characterization of how the programs stimulate collaborations between research institutions and small businesses; and an examination of the effectiveness of the programs at meeting the STTR goal of fostering licensing from research institutions into the private sector; and
4) The effectiveness of both the award selection process and the post-award assistance (both formal and informal) provided by NSF in selecting technologies that attract additional investment and lead to scalable commercial outcomes.

The committee will also provide guidance to NSF on its outreach strategy to potential SBIR and STTR applicants through such activities as:

• Assessing the efficacy of current outreach efforts in increasing the number of applications from small businesses that are (1) new to the SBIR/STTR programs, (2) from under-represented states, (3) woman-owned, or (4) minority-owned;
• Assessing which of multiple strategies employed by NSF have been most effective in achieving the above goals;
• Characterizing and assessing demographics of the applicant (and award) pool and their changes over time, including such characteristics as size, age of applicants (and awards) in the pool, and participation by underrepresented groups.

The committee will produce a consensus report with findings and recommendations.

Status: Current


Project Duration (months): 24 month(s)

RSO: Cohen, Gail


Policy for Science and Technology

Geographic Focus:
North America

Committee Membership

Committee Post Date: 02/05/2020

Maryann P. Feldman - (Co-Chair)
Dr. Maryann P. Feldman is the Heninger Distinguished Professor in the Department of Public Policy and Professor of Finance at the Kenan Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina. Her research and teaching interests focus on the areas of innovation, the commercialization of academic research and the factors that promote technological change and economic growth. From 2014 to 2017, Dr. Feldman held a joint appointment at the National Science Foundation as the Science of Science and Innovation Policy (SciSIP) Program Director. Dr. Feldman’s early work revealed that universities were necessary, but not sufficient, for technology-based economic development. These findings launched a new area of investigation into university technology transfer. She has written extensively on processes and mechanisms to commercialize academic research, areas germane to the SBIR/STTR programs. She earned her Ph.D. in economics and management from Carnegie Melon University.
Scott Stern - (Co-Chair)
Dr. Scott Stern is the David Sarnoff Professor of Management at the MIT Sloan School of Management. He explores how innovation and entrepreneurship differ from more traditional economic activities, and the consequences of these differences for strategy and policy. His research in the economics of innovation and entrepreneurship focuses on entrepreneurial strategy, innovation-driven entrepreneurial ecosystems, and innovation policy and management. Recent studies by Dr. Stern include the impact of clusters on entrepreneurship, the role of institutions in shaping the accumulation of scientific and technical knowledge, and the drivers and consequences of entrepreneurial strategy, areas relevant to the committee’s task. He currently serves as co-chair of the National Bureau of Economic Resarch’s Innovation Policy Working Group. Dr. Stern earned his Ph.D. in economics from Stanford University.
Yael Hochberg
Yael Hochberg is the Ralph S. O’Connor Professor in Entrepreneurship – Finance and the head of Rice University Entrepreneurship Initiative. She also holds a Research Affiliate position with MIT’s Sloan School of Management. Her research is focused on entrepreneurship, innovation, and the financing of entrepreneurial activity. She has studied the venture capital industry, accelerators, networks, corporate governance and compensation policies. In 2016, she was awarded the Ewing Marion Kauffman Prize Medal for Distinguished Research in Enterpreneurship.

Dr. Hochberg received her MA (Economics) and PhD (Finance) from Stanford University and her bachelors degree in Industrial Engineering and Management from Technion – Israel Institute of Technology.

Amol Joshi
Dr. Amol Joshi is an assistant professor of strategy and entrepreneurship at Oregon State University’s College of Business. Dr. Joshi’s work focuses on technology entrepreneurship, and has included an investigation of the impact of workforce diversity at agencies awarding SBIR and STTR grants and the likelihood of minority and women technology entrepreneurs receiving awards. Dr. Joshi’s work also examines how inventors create and commercialize new products and technologies, and the problems associated with managing innovation across organizational boundaries.

Dr. Joshi has extensive experience in the private sector as a research engineer, a business manager, inventor, and entrepreneur, and has invented several commercialized products and worked at venture-backed startup firms and high-growth public companies across many industries throughout the United States and the world. Dr. Joshi has also trained teams of scientific researchers across the world on the best practices for spinning-off and launching new ventures from university and government research labs.

Dr. Joshi received his Ph.D. in business administration from the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, his M.S. in engineering sciences from the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College, and his B.S. of electrical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Riitta Katila
Riitta Katila is Professor of Management Science & Engineering and W.M. Keck Foundation Faculty Scholar at Stanford University. She is an expert on innovation, competition, and growth strategies of firms. Her research is in the intersection of technology strategy and organizational learning.

Dr. Katila's recent work on competition and innovation has appeared in the Academy of Management Journal, Administrative Science Quarterly, Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, Strategic Management Journal, and Research Policy. Her most recent work, supported by the National Science Foundation, examines how firms create new products successfully. Focusing on the robotics industry, she investigates how different search approaches, such as the exploitation of existing knowledge and the exploration for new knowledge, influence the kinds of new products that technology-intensive firms introduce. She served on the editorial review boards of Administrative Science Quarterly, Organization Science, Strategic Organization, and the Strategic Management Journal.

Dr. Katila studied engineering economics and information systems as an undergraduate, earned a Ph.D. in technology strategy at UT-Austin on a Fulbright Scholarship, and received a Doctorate in Engineering from Helsinki University of Technology (now Aalto University) in Finland.

Lauren Lanahan
Dr. Lauren Lanahan is an assistant professor of management in the Department of Management at the Lundquist College of Business, University of Oregon. Dr. Lanahan's research primarily focuses on public economics as it relates to innovation and entrepreneurship. She utilizes evidence-based analysis to investigate the role of public institutions in understanding the evolving, multifaceted research and development enterprise. She also investigates processes of self-governance and self-evaluation at academic instutions and of academic research, drawing insights from her experience working in the National Science Foundation’s Social, Behavioral & Economics Directorate. Dr. Lanahan’s work also seeks to understand what institutions and reward structures are most efficient at producing new scientific knowledge and consequent economic growth. She completed her Ph.D. in public policy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Matt Marx
Matt Marx is an Associate Professor of Strategy and Innovation at Boston University and was previously Associate Professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management. He studies the job mobility of knowledge workers and the commercialization of science and technology.

His research has appeared in top journals in the sciences, management, finance, and sociology and has received several awards including for the best INFORMS article in innovation & entrepreneurship during 2009. He serves an Associate Editor at Management Science. He has contributed several large-scale open datasets to the scientific commons, including the first publicly downloadable, comprehensive set of patent-to-paper citations. His findings on employee non-competes played a key role in policy reforms both in Hawaii (2015) and Massachusetts (2018).

Professor Marx previously worked as a software engineer and an executive at technology startups SpeechWorks and Tellme Networks, where he published several peer-reviewed technical articles and earned six patents. He holds a B.S. in Symbolic Systems from Stanford University; a master's degree from the MIT Media Lab; and an MBA as well as a doctoral degree from Harvard University.

Alexander Oettl
Alex Oettl is an Associate Professor of Strategy & Innovation at the Scheller Colle of Business at the Georgia Institute of Technology. His research interests include the economics of innovation, knowledge spillovers, labor mobility, and economic geography. His current work focuses on the production and diffusion of ideas at the individual, firm, and regional level. His publications include work on the incidence and role of negative citations, the role of scientist immigration on domestic science, and the peer effects of star scientists.

Dr. Oettl received his PhD in Strategic Management at the University of Toronto, his MSc and Bachelor of Commerce degree from Queen’s University at Kingston.

Winslow Sargeant
Winslow Sargeant is a managing director with S&T, LLC, an early stage investment firm specializing in supporting small and innovative companies, based in Great Falls, Virginia. He is also president-elect for the International Council for Small Business (ICSB). From 2010 to 2015, Sargeant was the Chief Counsel for Advocacy with the United States Small Business Administration (SBA) Office of Advocacy, where he advanced the views, concerns, and interests of small business before Congress, the White House, federal agencies, federal courts, and state policy makers.

From 2006 to 2009, Sargeant was the managing director at Venture Investors, LLC (VI), an early stage venture capital firm invested in innovative research from leading universities in the upper Midwest. Before that, he co-founded and was CEO of Silatronix, Inc., a producer of organosilicon materials for use in lithium-ion batteries. From 2001 to 2005, he was the program manager for the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program in electronics in industrial innovation within the National Science Foundation’s Engineering Directorate.

Sargeant received his Ph.D. in electrical engineering in 1995 from the University of Wisconsin.

Stephanie S. Shipp
Dr. Stephanie Shipp is deputy director and professor in the Social and Decision Analytics Division of the Biocomplexity Institute & Initiative at the University of Virginia. Dr. Shipp’s work has spanned topics related to the use of all data to advance policy, the science of data science, and metropolitan analytics. She has recently led and engaged in projects at the local, state, and federal levels to assess data quality and use new and traditional sources of data, and her research has focused on developing statistical methodologies and tools for using administrative and other data to model the social condition, with research on communities, innovation, and defense analytics.

Immediately prior to joining the faculty at the University of Virginia, Dr. Shipp was the deputy director and research professor at the Social and Decision Analytics Laboratory (SDAL) at the Biocomplexity Institute of Virginia Tech. Dr. Shipp earlier served at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) as director of the Economic Assessment Office in the Advanced Technology Program.

Dr. Shipp received a Ph.D. in economics from The George Washington University in 2000.

Tim Simcoe
Timothy Simcoe is an associate Professor of Strategy & Innovation at the Questrom School of Business at Boston University. He was a senior economist for the White House Council of Economic Advisers from 2014 to 2015. His research focuses on industry standards, innovation, intellectual property, technology, and corporate strategy. He previously served on the National Academies’ Committee on Intellectual Property Management in Standard-Setting Processes: An International Comparison (2011-2013).

Dr. Simcoe received an MA (Economics) and PhD (Business Administration) from the University of California at Berkeley. He received his bachelor’s degree in Applied Math and Economics from Harvard University.

Gail Cohen - (Staff Officer)



Keck Center
500 5th St NW, Washington, DC 20001
Event Type :  

Description :   

First Meeting of the committee on the Review of the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer Programs at the National Science Foundation.

This meeting will include both open and closed sessions. See open session agenda for open session times.

Registration for Online Attendance :   

Registration for in Person Attendance :   

If you would like to attend the sessions of this event that are open to the public or need more information please contact

Contact Name:  David Dierksheide
Contact Email:
Contact Phone:  (202) 276-4079

Is it a Closed Session Event?
Some sessions are open and some sessions are closed

Publication(s) resulting from the event:



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