Join us for our next Entrepreneurship and Innovation Policy virtual research seminar. Register here or on our website.
Supradeep Dutta (Rutgers) and Jenna Rodrigues (UConn) will present on June 29, from 11:00-11:55 am ET the paper titled "Government Funding Innovation Amid Uncertainty: The Case of COVID-19 and NIH SBIR Grant" (with Timothy B. Folta and Maryann Feldman).
- Tim Folta (UConn) & Maryann Feldman (UNC–Chapel Hill), Seminar Co-Organizers
Abstract: Despite the challenges government institutions faced amid the COVID-19 pandemic, agencies such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH) attempted to sustain their capacity to fund biomedical research. Doing so meant making the changes necessary to their internal processes to continue evaluating SBIR grant applications. Given the prompt transition that agencies such as NIH were forced to make to maintain business as usual, the extent to which the internal process changes impacted the agency's ability to select the right applicants to fund is of substantial interest to agency leaders and a timely topic for debate. In this study, we examine how COVID-19 affected both selection processes and outcomes in the SBIR grant program at NIH. In doing so, we find that review teams were increasingly likely to select companies for funding during COVID-19 that were older, larger, less novel, and investor backed in comparison to ventures selected for funding during the pre-COVID-19 period. We speculate on the possible explanations driving the change in selection outcomes we observe within the agency.