News | Feb 25, 2019

New study finds $9 billion in technology sales following NCI-funded research

News Article Image of New study finds $9 billion in technology sales following NCI-funded research

A technician loads DNA samples into a desktop genomic sequencing machine at the Cancer Genomics Research Laboratory, part of the National Cancer Institute's Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics. (NCI photo)

The National Cancer Institute’s investment in small business research grants has supported strong economic growth, including $9 billion in sales of new technologies.

According to a study released last week, 53 percent of the 444 businesses who received a Phase II grant from NCI’s Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) program between 1998 and 2010 developed a commercialized product or service.

For example, the San Diego-based Naviscan used its funding to develop the PEM Flex® PET Scanner, which allows doctors to accurately visualize tumors at the earliest stages of breast cancer.

NCI grants to these companies totaled $787 million. The sales figures alone represent an eleven-fold increase of this investment.

News Article Image of New study finds $9 billion in technology sales following NCI-funded research

But the first-ever study found that the total economic impact of the NCI’s research investment topped $26 billion, as those sales increased demand in other sectors of the economy.

The subsequent effects simulated billions of dollars in business-to-business purchases, household spending, and wages, all of which support thousands of jobs.

The study was prepared for NCI by TechLink, a center at Montana State University that specializes in economic impact studies of federal SBIR and technology transfer programs.

The report builds on previous economic impact studies by the same team, said Brett Cusker, TechLink’s executive director.

In 2016, TechLink launched a study of the Department of Defense’s SBIR/STTR program that covered all Phase II awards initiated between 1995 and 2012, which total $14.4 billion in funding to 4,420 companies.

“These studies are fuel for policymakers interested in spurring technological innovation and economic growth,” Cusker said. “We’re looking forward to conducting more.”


Click here to visit the National Cancer Institute’s SBIR Development Center.