GAO Says Assessments of Small-Business Progress in Commercializing Technologies Lacking

The SBA, and participating agencies, are not benchmarking businesses in two federal programs devised to commercialize innovative technologies, according to GAO.

The Small Business Innovative Research and Small Business Technology Transfer Programs have awarded $46 billion to small business to develop and commercialize innovative technologies. The SBA and 11 participating agencies have set two benchmarks – the Transition Rate Benchmark and the Commercialization Benchmark – to measure progress and determine businesses eligibility for future awards under the program.

The Transition Rate Benchmark states that small businesses that received more than 20 awards for the first phase of the programs in the past five years must have received an average of one award for the second phase of the programs for every four first phase awards. GAO found that the database used to assess performance against this benchmark contained inaccurate and incomplete data affecting more than 4,000 records.

The Commercialization Benchmark states that small businesses that received more than 15 awards for the second phase of the programs in the past 10 years — excluding the two most recent — must have received a certain amount of sales, investments, or patents resulting from their efforts. The report found that small businesses have only being assessed against this benchmark once, in 2014, and 12 of them failed to meet it.

GAO has recommended that all 11 participating agencies, including the SBA, the DoD and DHS, should update their project program solicitations to reflect how the consequence of not meeting the benchmarks is to be implemented.

The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

Leave a Reply

Latest from DHS

SIGN UP NOW for FREE News & Analysis on topics of your choice across homeland security!

BEYOND POLITICS.  IT'S ABOUT THE MISSION. 

Go to Top
Malcare WordPress Security