Spreading the Word on the SBIR STTR Race to the Finish Line

Few government programs make a bigger impact on keeping the United States at the forefront of innovation and technology of all kinds than the SBIR/STTR program.

A heat in the race for SBIR/STTR reauthorization was including in it in the Continuing Resolution (CR) that funded the Federal Government through December 16th, The Senate has now included the SBIR/STTR reauthorization in the Senate Defense Bill that passed yesterday by a vote of 93-7. The Bill also authorizes money for military personnel, weapons systems, national security programs in the Energy Department, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in the fiscal year that began Oct. 1.

Senator Mary L. Landrieu, Chair, Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship, made the following comments following the Senate’s unanimous vote in favor of Amendment 1115 to the National Defense Authorization bill. The amendment would reauthorize the Small Business innovation and Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs for another eight years.

“Tonight, we are closer than we’ve ever been on achieving a long-term reauthorization for the SBIR and STTR programs,” Senator Landrieu said. “My Senate colleagues and I have been working all year to get this done and, with this vote, the Senate has set politics aside and given our support to small business and innovation. This amendment not only keeps these programs alive, it also gives them stability and I thank Senators Levin and McCain for their help in getting tonight’s vote. I am hopeful our counterparts in the House will work with us to bring this to the President’s desk immediately so that we can continue to keep our nation on the forefront of defense technology and scientific innovation.” The amendment, which passed by unanimous voice vote, provides for a long-term extension of SBIR and STTR programs through 2019.
(Source: Congressional Documents and Publications/ContentWorks via COMTEX and Green Technolgy News.)
Enacted by Congress in 1982, the SBIR program is the largest federal research and development program for small businesses and one of the largest examples of U.S. public-private partnerships. The program allows small businesses to compete for a portion of federal research dollars in order to help the agencies meet their many missions. By including small businesses in the nation’s R&D efforts, SBIR grants and contracts are intended to stimulate innovative solutions to help the agencies meet specific research and development needs, from areas of health and environment to national defense and agriculture, and move the ideas from lab to market, whether for the government or commercial purposes.

Below is a message Senator Landrieu sent (via press release) to the SBIR/STTR community.

[—-beginning of letter —-]

From: Senator Mary L. Landrieu, Chair, Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship

Subject: Spread the Word: SBIR/STTR One Step Closer to Finish Line

Date: December 1, 2011

Dear SBIR/STTR Advocates, This week, by a unanimous voice vote, the Senate amended the National Defense Authorization bill to include a reauthorization of the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs for another eight years giving small businesses confidence that the program is going to go on. Prior to this vote, Congress had passed 14 temporary extensions of the SBIR and STTR programs since 2008. Unfortunately, the fight is not over.

There is one more hurdle to jump over to make it to the finish line. We must make sure our colleagues on the House side do not strip this crucial legislation as with years past. You may think this bill will easily pass the House with bipartisan support given the overwhelming bipartisan support in the Senate and broad support from groups such as the National Small Business Association, the National Federation of Independent Businesses, the U.S Chamber of Commerce and BIO. The Senate version has the most support and we hope the House will join us in getting a long-term SBIR/STTR reauthorization across the finish line.

Please call your Member of the House and urge them to speak to their colleagues who will be involved in these negotiations to reach a compromise before the National Defense bill is sent to the President.

We must stress the importance of this legislation; we must make sure they understand the necessity of these programs to keep our nation on the forefront of defense technology and scientific innovation. You can read more about this wonderful news below.

All the best,

[Mary L. Landrieu]

Did you know?

  • This reauthorizes the programs for 8 years.
  • The amendment increases the SBIR program allocation by one percent, from 2.5 to 3.5 percent, over ten years, and increases the STTR program allocation from .3 percent to .6 percent over six years.
  • It makes firms majority owned and controlled by multiple venture capital firms eligible for up to 25 percent of the SBIR funds at NIH, NSF and DoE and up to 15 percent of the funds at the other eight agencies. The authority is in effect for five years, as modified by Sen. McCain.
  • 3 percent of the SBIR allocation will go to administrative, oversight and processing costs if there is an allocation increase.
  • The amendment increases the award guidelines for SBIR and STTR awards from $100,000 to $150,000 for Phase I and from $750,000 to $1 million for Phase II, allowing for one sequential Phase II.

[—- end of letter —-]

For more information on the SBIR/STTR program and the journey that has taken us to this point, read http://www.azbio.org/small-business-innovation-and-the-importance-of-the-sbir-and-sttr

Want to contact your member of Congress and share your viewpoint on the SBIR/STTR reauthorization?

The following website makes it easy. www.ContactingTheCongress.org

Sources: A/P, Senator Mary L. Landieu (press release), Rick Shindell (SBIR Insider) , Green Technolgy News.)

About the Author:

JKW AZBio BlueJoan Koerber-Walker, MBA is Chairman of CorePurpose, Inc. and the Opportunity Through Entrepreneurship Foundation. She serves as the president and ceo of AZBIO – The Arizona BioIndustry Association.

About AZBio: The statewide voice for Arizona’s bioscience industry, AZBio is dedicated to ensuring that Arizona bioscience companies have the resources, connections and economic environment they need to keep moving forward faster. AZBio efforts monitor, educate, and inform the community on key issues at the national level and key initiatives here in Arizona.

To learn more about the accelerating growth of Arizona’s bioscience industry visit: AZBio: www.AZBIO.org www.AZBioExpo.com Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap: www.flinn.org Arizona Bioscience 101: www.arizonabiobasics.com Arizona Bioscience on Twitter: @BiozonaNews, @AZBio, @AZBioCEO, @ASUBiodesign, @BIO5

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