The Minority Industrial Assistance Research Project was a pilot program which provided technical assistance to minority-owned industrial firms. It was designed to investigate how NASA technology can be helpful in solving technical problems in small businesses.The Project's main research hypothesis was that problem-solving assistance from highly qualified scientists and engineers could be used to facilitate the transfer of NASA technology to minority-owned businesses.The Project's primary research finding is that it does not appear that technical problem-solving assistance will significantly enhance the likelihood that technology transfers to minority-owned firms will occur. Issues related to this finding are the following:(1)There are very limited numbers of technically oriented, minority-owned firms that have the capability and resources necessary for accomplishing transfers of technology.(2)Technical problems that are encountered when assistance is offered on a reactive basis typically have little relationship to NASA technology.(3)Implementation of problem solutions usually have fundamental business consequences for small firms and therefore are likely to be accompanied by high risk.This paper provides an overview of the Project's findings by reference to the demographics of minority-owned businesses, characteristics of participating companies and their technical problems, and selected aspects of technology transfer processes. Recommendations for future assistance in technology transfer are also provided.
American Journal of Small Business – SAGE
Published: Apr 1, 1982