• Chaitanya Ambegaonkar, USC Viterbi
  • Andrea Belz, USC Viterbi
  • Aleks Giga, USC Viterbi
  • Michael Kawas, USC Dornsife
  • Rich Terrile, Jet Propulsion Laboratory
  • Fernando Zapatero, USC Marshall

SBIR: Commercializing Invention and Financing Innovation (SCIFI) studies the role of government subsidies in supporting entrepreneurs.  We work closely with the NASA Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program to answer questions such as:

  • How do subsidies affect patent rates, particularly for microfirms (<10 employees)?
  • How do these patent portfolios evolve over time?

Interesting results include:

  • NASA SBIR Phase II awards double the probability that a microfirm will file a patent, particularly if the firm has never filed patents before.
  • This effect grows over time; in effect, companies that do not get these awards never catch up.
  • These effects do not exist for larger (11-500 employee) firms; and for those firms, the effect of the award tapers off only after 10 years.