Broadband investment provides substantial benefits to both consumers, small business owners, and the overall economy particularly in e-commerce, education, health care, entertainment, government, and almost every other sector of the American economy. Given the important and widespread role broadband technology plays in our economy today, efforts should be made to provide access to everyone.
Since its enactment in 1982 as part of the Small Business Innovation Development Act, Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program has helped thousands of small businesses to compete for federal research and development awards. Their contributions have enhanced the nation's defense, protected our environment, advanced health care, and improved our ability to manage information and manipulate data.
During the 112th Congress, the SBIR program was reauthorized through fiscal year 2017. This much needed reauthorization increased award sizes to adjust for inflation, significantly increases the commercialization efforts of the technology developed within the program, and greatly increases the number of small companies eligible to compete for awards. The Committee will continue vigorous oversight of this program in the 113th Congress.