Federal Research:

Small Business Involvement in Federal Research and Development

RCED-88-90BR: Published: Feb 2, 1988. Publicly Released: Feb 2, 1988.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the role of small businesses in the federal government's technology transfer and research and development programs, focusing on: (1) large federal research and development laboratories' implementation of technology transfer plans for small businesses; (2) whether two large federally funded efforts excluded small business participation in their activities; and (3) the effect of the rapid growth of defense and space, as opposed to civilian, research funding on small business participation.

GAO found that, of the 10 federal laboratories it reviewed: (1) none had developed formal technology transfer plans for small businesses; (2) 3 had special outreach programs for small businesses; (3) 6 had cooperative research and development activities with small businesses; and (4) several did not distinguish between large and small businesses in their outreach and cooperative activities. GAO also found that: (1) both of the large research and development efforts it reviewed either expected heavy small business participation in their activities or reported that such participation was already ongoing. In addition, GAO found that, from increased 1982 through 1986, small businesses' shares of: (1) defense and space funding from 4.3 to 5.9 percent; and (2) civilian funding increased from 7.5 to 11.8 percent.

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