Federal Research:

Information on the Advanced Technology Program's 1997 Award Selection

RCED-98-82R: Published: Feb 24, 1998. Publicly Released: Feb 26, 1998.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the Advanced Technology Program (ATP) proposal application and review process.

GAO noted that: (1) according to program officials, the National Institute of Standards and Technology made the determination of whether the applicants could probably find funding elsewhere on the basis of information gathered throughout the fiscal year 1997 competitions' proposal review process; (2) in addition, ATP officials said that applicants were questioned during the oral review phase if any doubt remained as to whether they could have found funding elsewhere; (3) in December 1997, ATP revised its requirements, requiring that in the future applicants indicate on the proposal application their efforts to find private funding; (4) in addition, program officials told GAO that all of the information acquired during the proposal review was used to determine of program support was important to the project from a national economic perspective; (5) specifically, the officials said that one of the five selection criteria for evaluating proposals, potential net broad-based economic benefits, relates to whether or not funding a project would create a serious national economic concern; and (6) according to the ATP Proposal Preparation Kit, the proposal review process included a review of the proposal by panels of outside experts in business and economics to determine the proposed project's potential for broad-based benefits and its commercial viability.

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