BOX 4-6SBIR as an Enabler and Lifeline for Some High-Tech Companies

Faraday Technologies, Inc. The SBIR program enabled the company to undertake research that otherwise it would not have done. It sped the development of proofs of concept and pilot-scale prototypes, opened new market opportunities for new applications, led to the formation of new business units in the company, and enabled the hiring of key professional and technical staff. The SBIR “is well structured to allow taking on higher risk …”a

Immersion Corporation. SBIR grants gave Immersion the ability to grow its intellectual property portfolio, the core of its commercial success. The company leveraged the government funding to attract investment funding from private sources.

ISCA Technology, Inc. The SBIR program was essential to the survival of the company after it hit a major financial setback on its initial path. “The NSF SBIR gave us lots of prestige; it gave us credibility.” The company used SBIR funding to bring advanced technology to a predominantly low-tech area.

Language Weaver. “… the STTR/SBIR from NSF created Language Weaver and what we are today. Without that we would have shelved the technology.”

MicroStrain, Inc. The company found the NSF SBIR program’s “more open topics” particularly helpful in the early stages when the company was building capacity.

MER Corporation. The SBIR program allowed the company to steadily improve and advance its R&D capabilities. It also helped MER’s owners to keep control of their company.

National Recovery Technologies, Inc. “Without the SBIR program, NRT wouldn’t have a business. We couldn’t have done the necessary technical development and achieved the internal intellectual growth…. SBIR saved our bacon.”


See Faraday Technology case study in National Research Council, An Assessment of the SBIR Program at the National Science Foundation, Charles W. Wessner, ed., Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2008.

From: 4, SBIR Program Outputs

Cover of An Assessment of the SBIR Program
An Assessment of the SBIR Program.
National Research Council (US) Committee for Capitalizing on Science, Technology, and Innovation: An Assessment of the Small Business Innovation Research Program; Wessner CW, editor.
Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2008.
Copyright © 2008, National Academy of Sciences.

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