A recent analysis by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that the new open topic approach used by the U.S. Air Force in issuing Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) awards coincided with an overall increase in the agency’s participation figures and proposal processing times for both programs. That’s according to a post in the SSTI Weekly Digest.
The open approach was found to be more effective in attracting new companies to federal contracting and issuing awards quickly. GAO found nearly 43 percent of the 1,001 open topics awardees had no prior federal contract experience compared to only 14 percent of the 771 conventional awardees being new to federal procurement. Additionally, GAO reports that an April 2021 study found that after receiving an open topic award these awardees were more likely to obtain further funding from other sources.
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