Monday, September 26, 2011

U.S. Federal Innovation 1/365: Science Approach and SBIR Grants

Okay, we'll start with a gimme. Science Approach was founded in 2002 as a limited-liability corporation (LLC). A for-profit business, Science Approach has primarily been funded by the U.S. Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) program. The SBIR program, itself, is an important federally funded innovation.

Unlike other federal grant recipients, SBIR grant recipients are required to commercialize the results of their research. The commercialization requirement places a special burden on SBIR grantees. Besides developing innovative projects to fulfill important societal needs, SBIR recipients must create products that sustain themselves beyond federal funding with revenues generated from licensing and direct sales. Thus, taxpayer dollars used in the SBIR program constitute seed money for sustained innovation. Taxpayers are the investors. The peer-reviewers who comment upon and score SBIR applications are the stewards of the taxpayers' investment.

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