Estimating the Cost of Administering the Department of Defense Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program

Estimating the Cost of Administering the Department of Defense Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program

Somi Seong
Kenneth Horn
Bruce Held
Copyright Date: 2008
Edition: 1
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 30
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7249/op208osd
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  • Book Info
    Estimating the Cost of Administering the Department of Defense Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program
    Book Description:

    Currently, Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) funds cannot be used to administer the SBIR program; SBIR administration must be funded from other sources. As Congress reauthorizes the program, it is considering whether to allow partial use of SBIR set-asides for SBIR program administration costs and, if so, at what levels. In this report, the authors estimate how much it currently costs to administer the DoD SBIR program.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-4440-2
    Subjects: Management & Organizational Behavior

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Preface
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  4. Figure and Tables
    (pp. vii-viii)
  5. Summary
    (pp. ix-x)
  6. Abbreviations
    (pp. xi-xii)
  7. CHAPTER ONE Introduction
    (pp. 1-2)

    The current authorization for the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program expires in 2008, and Congress is in the process of reauthorizing it.¹ One issue being considered in the reauthorization is the funding of the program administration. Currently, the use of SBIR funds to administer the SBIR program is prohibited, and SBIR administration must thus be funded from other sources. Within DoD, the Army and the Air Force rely on overhead funding to manage their SBIR programs. The Navy, on the other hand, sets aside an additional 0.1625 percent of its extramural research, development, testing, and evaluation (RDT&E) budget (amounting...

  8. CHAPTER TWO Administering the U.S. Department of Defense Small Business Innovation Research Program
    (pp. 3-4)

    Administering the DoD SBIR program is a complex process. Each armed service and each defense agency with an SBIR program has stand-alone topic-generation and review processes, unique budget and overhead allocation philosophies, and different research emphases. Within these separately run programs, administration typically includes several activities, each with multistep procedures that must occur during each solicitation cycle.

    The administration of the DoD SBIR program occurs at three management levels or tiers (see Table 2.1). The first tier is Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD)–level SBIR management. First-tier responsibilities include generating SBIR procedures and policies and reviewing and approving...

  9. CHAPTER THREE Estimating the Cost of Administering the U.S. Department of Defense Small Business Innovation Research Program
    (pp. 5-8)

    Currently, no systematic time-accounting process is in place to record the time spent in administrating the SBIR program at any military service or DoD agency. Consequently, different approaches for collecting and analyzing the cost data for administrating the program are used.

    Three interrelated approaches were used to collect and help analyze the data. First, each service’s reference manuals, process manuals, and other SBIR documents were reviewed to identify the SBIR processes, structures, activities, and people at each tier and to understand differences among services. Second, teleconference calls with each service’s SBIR program office staff were made to collect labor-hour data...

  10. CHAPTER FOUR Administrative Costs in Comparable R&D Programs
    (pp. 9-12)

    The levels of administrative costs of the DoD SBIR program estimated in Chapter Three are not necessarily optimal relative to measures of effectiveness. Our study estimated the DoD administrative costs but not the effectiveness per se of these activities or the effect on benefits of higher or lower administrative investments. It is insightful, however, to compare these estimates to the levels of administrative costs expended in other federal R&D programs and organizations and in VC efforts to gain some perspective on what levels of administrative investments are warranted.

    Table 4.1 shows administrative costs as a percentage of R&D funding for...

  11. CHAPTER FIVE Concluding Remarks
    (pp. 13-14)

    The cost of administering today’s DoD SBIR program is estimated to be approximately 6 percent of the value of the total DoD SBIR budget. This amount is not necessarily the optimal level of what the administrative funding should be. Earlier RAND research noted that technology transition was not occurring as frequently as one would have hoped and that further improvements in technology transition may require additional funding (Held et al., 2006)....

  12. APPENDIX Small Business Innovation Research Program
    (pp. 15-16)
  13. Bibliography
    (pp. 17-18)