BOX 6-1Acquisition Liaisons

To further foster coordination between its R&D and acquisitions programs, DoD mandates that each major acquisition program must designate as SBIR liaison an individual who is:

  • knowledgeable about the technology needs of the acquisition program and
  • responsible for technology infusion into the program.

These liaisons interface with the SBIR program managers within DoD and with the SBIR contractor community. Their role is to integrate SBIR technologies into their acquisition programs.

Contact information for the liaisons is listed on a DoD SBIR Web Site so that both DoD laboratory personnel and SBIR contractors have—in theory at least—an efficient means of communicating with their end customers in acquisition programs at all stages of the SBIR process. The liaisons may author topics or cause them to be authored.

However, speakers at the NRC Phase III Conference observed that agencies sometimes worked around the mandate by assigning numerous liaison roles to a single individual as a pro forma matter, making the function effectively useless.a;


See National Research Council, SBIR and the Phase III Challenge of Commercialization, Charles W. Wessner, ed., Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2007.

From: 6, Program Management

Cover of An Assessment of the SBIR Program at the Department of Defense
An Assessment of the SBIR Program at the Department of Defense.
National Research Council (US) Committee for Capitalizing on Science, Technology, and Innovation: An Assessment of the Small Business Innovation Research Program, Policy and Global Affairs; Wessner CW, editor.
Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2009.
Copyright © 2009, National Academy of Sciences.

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