Accelerating the Transition of Technologies Created through the U.S. Department of Defense Small Business Innovation Research Program

by Youngbok Ryu

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The objective of this dissertation is to better understand the contextual effects on the success of the transition of technologies generated through the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, and to pull out policy recommendations for facilitating the way the SBIR transitions technologies from abstract concepts to concrete engineering capabilities that the U.S. can use in its military systems. To that end, I explore how social (network), spatial (region), and industrial (technology) factors affect the SBIR's ability to do this. Specifically, I examine the contextual effects of network, regional, and industrial characteristics on the success of technology transition using various regression models. To incorporate multilevel factors, in particular, I employ hierarchical linear models with firm- and region/ industry-level variables related to state-level innovation capacity, anchor tenants, innovation brokers, technology life cycle, technology market, technological and network positions of SBIR awardees in relation to the DOD (including its research laboratories) and prime contractors.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One

    Introduction

  • Chapter Two

    Preliminary Analysis of the SBIR Awards and Procurement Contracts Data

  • Chapter Three

    Network Context of SBIR Technology Transition

  • Chapter Four

    Regional Context of SBIR Technology Transition

  • Chapter Five

    Industrial Context of SBIR Technology Transition

  • Chapter Six

    Conclusion

  • Appendix A

    Background on Technology Transition and the SBIR Program

  • Appendix B

    SBIR Awards and Federal Procurement Contracts of Three Services, 2001-2010

  • Appendix C

    Network Aspects in SBIR Technology Transition

  • Appendix D

    Geographic Aspects in SBIR Technology Transition

  • Appendix E

    Sectoral Aspects in SBIR Technology Transition

This document was submitted as a dissertation in September 2017 in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the doctoral degree in public policy analysis at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. The faculty committee that supervised and approved the dissertation consisted of Richard Silberglitt (Chair), Frank Camm, and Cynthia Cook.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation dissertation series. Pardee RAND dissertations are produced by graduate fellows of the Pardee RAND Graduate School, the world's leading producer of Ph.D.'s in policy analysis. The dissertations are supervised, reviewed, and approved by a Pardee RAND faculty committee overseeing each dissertation.

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