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Biomedical Academic Entrepreneurship Through the SBIR Program


  • Andrew A. Toole
  • Dirk Czarnitzki


This paper considers the U.S. Small Business Innovation research (SBIR) program as a policy fostering academic entrepreneurship. We highlight two main characteristics of the program that make it attractive as an entrepreneurship policy: early-stage financing and scientist involvement in commercialization. Using unique data on NIH supported biomedical researchers, we trace the incidence of biomedical entrepreneurship through SBIR and describe some of the characteristics of these individuals. To explore the importance of early-stage financing and scientist involvement, we complement our individual level data with information on scientist-linked and non-linked SBIR firms. Our results show that the SBIR program is being used as a commercialization channel by academic scientists. Moreover, we find that the firms associated with these scientists perform significantly better than other non-linked SBIR firms in terms of follow-on venture capital funding, SBIR program completion, and patenting.

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  • Andrew A. Toole & Dirk Czarnitzki, 2005. "Biomedical Academic Entrepreneurship Through the SBIR Program," NBER Working Papers 11450, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11450
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    JEL classification:

    • O38 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Government Policy
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • G38 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • M13 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - New Firms; Startups
    • C25 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions; Probabilities

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