Small Business:

Proposed Amendments to the Small Business Innovation Research Program

RCED-89-173: Published: Jun 30, 1989. Publicly Released: Jul 6, 1989.

Additional Materials:


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

Pursuant to a legislative requirement, GAO reviewed four proposed amendments to the Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR) that would: (1) gradually increase the SBIR formula from 1.25 percent of agency external research and development funds to 3 percent; (2) make SBIR permanent with a formal congressional review every 10 years; (3) allocate a share of SBIR funds for administrative purposes; and (4) lower the threshold for federal agency participation in SBIR from $100 million to $20 million.

GAO does not advise altering SBIR as proposed by the four amendments. GAO believes that: (1) Congress should defer consideration of an increase in the funding percentage until solid evidence is available regarding the commercialization of SBIR-funded research and development activities; (2) making SBIR permanent would diminish Congress' oversight authority by eliminating the reauthorization review process; (3) the use of program funds for administrative purposes would mix those two sets of funds and create problems of budgetary control and oversight; and (4) the lowering of the threshold to $20 million would establish two extremely small programs that would be somewhat difficult to administer efficiently and would have little chance to make a significant contribution to meeting the SBIR goal of commercializing its research and development activities.

Jan 19, 2021

Nov 23, 2020

Nov 19, 2020

Oct 30, 2020

Oct 13, 2020

Oct 1, 2020

Sep 30, 2020

Sep 28, 2020

Jul 30, 2020

Jun 29, 2020

Looking for more? Browse all our products here