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Public Support of Private Innovation: An Initial Assessment of the North Carolina SBIR/STTR Phase I Matching Funds Program

John W. Hardin, David J. Kaiser and Albert Link

Annals of Science and Technology Policy, 2020, vol. 4, issue 1, 1-79

Abstract: Several U.S. states have developed matching grant programs to increase the likelihood of commercialization of technologies from business that receive federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) awards. One such program, the One North Carolina Small Business Program, has four specifically enumerated goals: (1) increase the amount of federal research dollars received by North Carolina small businesses; (2) increase the intensity of the research conducted under Phase I, making North Carolina small businesses more competitive for Phase II funds; (3) help North Carolina businesses bridge the funding gap period between the final Phase I payment and the first Phase II payment in the federal SBIR/STTR Program; and (4) encourage the establishment and growth of high-quality, advanced technology firms in the State of North Carolina. Since its establishment in 2005, the One North Carolina Small Business Program has made 423 awards totaling nearly $26 million to over 250 businesses located across 25 North Carolina counties. The Program’s grantee companies have had several notable successes, including receiving considerable follow-on funding from a variety of sources, creating and/or retaining hundreds of scientific and professional jobs, collaborating frequently with universities, and commercializing technologies to achieve significant sales. The purpose of this monograph is to describe the One North Carolina Small Business Program’s purpose and history, as well as offer an assessment of whether it has met its stated goals and objectives. Through an analysis of data collected through a 2017 survey of all the Program’s grantee companies, this monograph provides both descriptive findings as well as econometric assessments of the Program against its four stated goals. Both the descriptive findings and the econometric analyses are supportive of the conclusion that the Program is meeting its legislatively authorized purpose and goals. This monograph is divided into five sections. Section 1 provides background context on the One North Carolina Small Business Program. Section 2 describes the Federal SBIR and STTR Programs and how North Carolina has fared under the programs since their establishment. Section 3 presents descriptive information on the Program’s survey and sets the stage for Section 4, which details the econometric assessment of the Program. Concluding observations are presented in Section 5.

Keywords: Government programs and public policy; Matching grants; Political economy; Public administration; R&D; Technology development (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: L52 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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