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Bringing Science to Market: Commercializing from NIH SBIR Awards

  • Albert N. Link
  • Christopher J. Ruhm

We offer empirical information on the correlates of commercialization activity for research projects funded through the U.S. National Institutes of Health's (NIH's) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) award program. Based on this analysis we suggest possible recommendations for improving this aspect of the performance of NIH's SBIR program. Specifically, we estimate a model of the probability of commercialization as a function of the project's ability to attract additional developmental funding, along with other control variables. We find that additional developmental funding from non-SBIR federal sources and from own internal sources are important predictors of commercialization success, relatively more so than additional developmental funding from venture capitalists. We also find, among other things, that university involvement in the underlying research increases the probability of commercialization. Thus, these factors should be considered by NIH when making awards, if increased commercialization is an objective.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 14057.

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Date of creation: Jun 2008
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Publication status: published as Albert Link & Christopher Ruhm, 2009. "Bringing science to market: commercializing from NIH SBIR awards," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor and Francis Journals, vol. 18(4), pages 381-402.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14057
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  1. Holger Gorg & Eric Strobl, 2007. "The Effect of R&D Subsidies on Private R&D," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 74(294), pages 215-234, 05.
  2. Paul A. David & Bronwyn H. Hall & Andrew A. Toole, 1999. "Is Public R&D a Complement or Substitute for Private R&D? A Review of the Econometric Evidence," Working Papers 99023, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
  3. Hall, Bronwyn & Link, Albert & Scott, John, 2010. "Universities as Research Partners," Working Papers 10-9, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Department of Economics.
  4. Cohen, Wesley M & Levinthal, Daniel A, 1989. "Innovation and Learning: The Two Faces of R&D," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(397), pages 569-96, September.
  5. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 2004. "The Value of Life and the Rise in Health Spending," NBER Working Papers 10737, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Xulia González & Consuelo Pazó, 2005. "Do public subsidies stimulate private R&D spending?," Working Papers 0601, Universidade de Vigo, Departamento de Economía Aplicada.
  7. Bronwyn H. HALL, 2004. "University-Industry Research Partnerships in the United States," Economics Working Papers ECO2004/14, European University Institute.
  8. Thomas Astebro, 1998. "Basic statistics on the success rate and profits for independent inventors," Post-Print hal-00480042, HAL.
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