NIST Advanced Technology Program
Return to ATP Home Page
ATP Historical Award Statistics Business Reporting System Surveys EAO Economic Studies and Survey Results ATP Factsheets EAO Home Page

NISTIR 6917
Different Timelines for Different Technologies:
Evidence from the Advanced Technology Program

V. Observed Variations in Timellines for Commercialization

In Section V, expectations about timelines for revenues are examined and compared with expected windows of opportunity, by technology area.

A. Expectations about the Timeline for Commercialization

This subsection addresses directly the question, “Are differences in commercialization patterns observed for different technologies?” Using expected timing to initial revenues as a key indicator, we provide graphical timelines for each technology area.

When can we expect to see revenues?

Figure 1 shows a year-by-year picture of responses provided by all project participants together and by those from each technology area about their 1,172 planned commercial applications. Participants responded to the following question.

When is revenue anticipated?

Response choices:

  • During ATP
  • < 1 Year after ATP
  • 1 – <2 years after
  • 2 – <3 years after
  • 3 – <4 years after
  • 4 – <5 years after
  • 5 or more years after
  • Never

Revenues are anticipated for 17% of all commercial applications by the end of ATP funding, for 40% of applications by a year later, and for 66% within two years after ATP funding ends (counted cumulatively). The peak number of new applications expecting revenues occurs about two years after ATP funding ends.

Figure 1. When Can We Expect to See Revenues?
Figure 1. When Can We Expect to See Revenues?
Source: Data are from the ATP Business Reporting System for projects funded between 1993 and 1998.

But there is considerable variation across the entire time period. For IT applications, revenues are expected for 28% of applications during the period of ATP funding and for 64% of applications by a year after ATP funding ends, the highest proportion for any technology area. Only 25% of materials-chemistry applications and 32% of biotech applications are expected to generate revenues by a year after ATP funding ends.

When we examine the underlying data, we see that while the activity for IT peaks a year after ATP funding ends, the expected peak in new applications reaching the market for other technology areas appears a year later.

Electronics technologies have some early applications, but then they experience a steep rise in activity in the second year after ATP, followed by a fall-off more rapid than in any other technology area except IT.

Materials-chemistry and manufacturing-based applications build up somewhat more slowly and tail off more slowly than electronics and IT.

Biotechnologies have an initial spurt of activity in the second year after ATP funding ends, then another spurt five or more years later.

B. Expected Market Window of Opportunity

If commercialization plans are credible, we expect the window of market opportunity to shadow the expected timing of revenues. This window’s timing will pose a constraint on commercial viability of the technologies in their planned applications.

Figure 2 shows responses to the following question:

What is the window of market opportnity?

Response choices:

  • A year after ATP
  • 2 years after ATP
  • 5 years after ATP
  • More than 5 years after ATP
Figure 2. How Long Will the Window of Market Oppportunity Stay Open?
Figure 2. How Long Will the Window of Market Oppportunity Stay Open?

The expected windows of opportunity mirror expectations about the timeline to commercialization, with about a one-year lag. For IT, this is especially true. While 35% of applications across all technologies expect a market window of just one year after ATP funding ends, the proportion within IT is 52%, the highest such proportion for any technology area. As seen above, this is consistent with expectations of the timing of revenues for this technology group.

Most electronics applications are under pressure to reach the market within about two years after ATP.

Only a few applications—largely in biotechnology—are expected to see the market opportunity window open longer than five years after ATP.

Return to Table of Contents or go to VI. Factors Behind Observed Trends

Date created: March 4, 2003
Last updated: April 12, 2005

Return to ATP Home Page

ATP website comments: webmaster-atp@nist.gov  / Technical ATP inquiries: InfoCoord.ATP@nist.gov

NIST is an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department
Privacy policy / Security Notice / Accessibility Statement / Disclaimer / Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) /
No Fear Act Policy / NIST Information Quallity Standards / ExpectMore.gov (performance of federal programs)

Return to NIST Home Page
Return to ATP Home Page Return to NIST Home Page Go to the NIST Home Page