In 1992, Congress for the first time explicitly directed the federal agencies making SBIR grants to use commercial potential as a criterion for granting SBIR awards. In response, the Department of Defense developed the SBIR Fast Track initiative, which provides expedited decision-making for SBIR awards to companies that have commitments from outside vendors. To verify the effectiveness of this initiative, the DoD asked the STEP Board to assess the operation of Fast Track. This volume of original field research includes case studies comparing Fast Track and non-Fast Track firms, a large survey of SBIR awardees, and statistical analyses of the impact of regular SBIR and Fast Track awards. Collectively, the commissioned papers and the findings and recommendations represent a significant contribution to our understanding of the SBIR program.
Board on Science, Technology, and Economic Policy, National Research Council