The Federal Government is increasingly interested in potential commercial applications for technology developed under Government funding. This emphasis has been especially evident in the Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) Program. Experiences in commercialization efforts are presented. Benefits as well as hindrances of Government policies and regulations are discussed. Suggestions are presented based on a Small Business perspective as well as that of a Government Technical Monitor.
Experience has proven that advancement to Phase III commercialization is a slow tedious process and is dependent upon a number of variables. Some technologies, such as communications, microprocessing, and medical systems are directly marketable both inside and outside of the Government. Other technologies, such as life support systems for manned space flight programs, are dependent upon long term Governmental Programs for internal use, and must be substantially modified to market outside of the Government.