Using database linkages to measure innovation, commercialization, and survival of small businesses.

Research paper by James J Onken, Andrew C AC Miklos, Travis F TF Dorsey, Richard R Aragon, Anna Maria AM Calcagno

Indexed on: 08 Dec '20Published on: 14 Sep '19Published in: Evaluation and Program Planning


Here, we report the results of an outcomes evaluation of the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Programs at the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS). Since the programs' inception, assessments of the SBIR/STTR programs at several federal agencies have utilized surveys of former grantees as the primary source of data. Response rates have typically been low, making non-response bias a potential threat to the validity of some of these studies' results. Meanwhile, the availability of large publicly-available datasets continues to grow and methods of text mining and linking databases continue to improve. By linking NIGMS grant funding records, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office data, and business intelligence databases, we explored innovation, commercialization and survival for recipients of NIGMS SBIR/STTR funding. In doing so, we were able to more completely assess several key outcomes of the NIGMS SBIR/STTR program. Our evaluation demonstrated that the NIGMS program performed above baseline expectations along all dimensions, and comparably to other federal agency SBIR/STTR grant programs. In addition, we show that the use of extant data increasingly is a viable, less expensive, and more reliable approach to gathering data for evaluation studies. Published by Elsevier Ltd.