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NCI SBIR Impact Study

View the Summary Report.

National Cancer Institute has one of the largest Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs in the U.S. In 2017, NCI SBIR Development Center hired TechLink, an organization specializing in economic impact studies of SBIR programs, to conduct an economic impact study to quantify the program’s overall contribution to the national economy.


$9.1 billion in total sales to date    $26.1 billion in total economic output    $13.4 in value added

Sales figures understate the reality, because:

  • There were non-responding companies.
  • Spinout companies were unlikely to respond to the study.
  • Licensee sales information was not readily available.
  • Inflation contributed to an under-valuation of earlier sales.


The study examined the economic outcomes and impacts leading up to 2018 from all NCI SBIR/STTR Phase II awards initiated from FY 1998 to FY 2010. A total of 444 companies received Phase II funding for 690 separate projects over the period.

Of the 690 awards, 368 (53%) resulted in sales and many of the newer awards have not yet resulted in sales. Total cumulative sales were $9.1 billion, which equates to average sales of approximately $24.8 million for each of the 368 awards.

There were other economic outcomes and impacts were not factored into the economic impact results of the study because the analysis model uses industry information to estimate the economic impact. Other economic outcomes include:

  • Total outside investment funding: $4.26 billion
  • Number of companies that were acquired: 101
  • Total acquisition value of companies acquired: $21.63 billion
  • Number of technologies licensed to other companies: 103
  • Number of spin-out companies created: 45

For more information about the NCI SBIR Economic Impact Study, please see the study brief or the full report*.

* Please note that NCI SBIR has issued a new copy of the full report on May 10, 2019 with one typo correction.

Updated Date: 
May 10, 2019