The implementation of the SBIR Program at NIH followed the established organization and procedures traditionally used for purely scientific proposals. As a result, the SBIR proposal review panels are populated with a disproportionate number of academic scientists. Perhaps unintentionally, the science orientation of these individuals created a bias against commercial development grants. While a strong scientific knowledge base is important, understanding medical product development is also a critical component. SBIR proposal review panels should be “balanced” to allow projects with a stronger product development component to be reviewed more favorably.