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Department of Health and Human Services

Office of Inspector General -- AUDIT

"Review of the Effectiveness of the National Institutes of Health's Administration of the Small Business Innovation Research Program," (A-15-98-00031)

November 18, 1999

Complete Text of Report is available in PDF format (2.87 mb). Copies can also be obtained by contacting the Office of Public Affairs at 202-619-1343.


Since 1983, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has provided $1.7 billion in financial support to small business concerns to perform research projects under the Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR). This final report points out that the NIH does not ensure that all SBIR grantees comply with invention reporting requirements found in regulations that require grantees to disclose inventions and patents to the funding agencies. Also, the NIH does not evaluate the success of its SBIR Program in commercialization of research. Measuring such success or lack thereof should be an important management objective. Recommendations call for actions the NIH needs to take to become more effective in protecting intellectual property rights and improve administration of the SBIR program.