Chairwoman Ellmers Introduces SBIR Reauthorization Bill

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Washington, Apr 7, 2011 | DJ Jordan, Wendy Knox (202-225-5821) | comments

House Small Business Subcommittee on Healthcare and Technology Chairwoman Renee Ellmers (R-NC) today introduced legislation to reauthorize the Small Business Innovation and Research program. The bipartisan bill is called the “Creating Jobs Through Small Business Innovation Act of 2011” (H.R. 1425). 

Chairwoman Ellmers issued the following comment:

“This bill is a win-win for America -- it will help small businesses across the nation create jobs and produce new technical and scientific solutions to meet the diverse needs of the government. As our economy is in the midst of a comeback, it is important for Congress to pass legislation that helps our nation’s most effective job creators, our small businesses.

“The SBIR program is widely supported and recognized as an important engine of innovation and is a significant factor in the founding of new companies, providing the impetus to start projects that otherwise would not get off the ground.”

Chairman Graves issued the following comment:

“The existence of this program is not only significant to the unique needs of the federal government, but also to our national economy. The program stimulates innovation in the small business community and creates jobs through research and development, all without any additional federal funding.  

“Additionally, the reauthorization focuses the program on the best ideas with the greatest chance of success and not a company’s financial structure. Given the difficulty in acquiring capital to support innovative ideas we thought the current program was overly restrictive and needed to be changed.

“This bill has strong bipartisan support, and represents a good faith effort for negotiations with the Senate and I am optimistic that the House and Senate can work together to pass a bill to send to the President.”

The original co-sponsors for this bill are Rep. Sam Graves (R-MO), Chairman of the Small Business Committee; Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-LA), Ranking Member of the Small Business Subcommittee on Healthcare and Technology; Rep. Ralph Hall (R-TX), Chairman of the Committee on Science, Space and Technology; Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), Ranking Member of the Committee on Science, Space and Technology; Rep. Ben Quayle (R-AZ), Chairman of the Science, Space and Technology Subcommittee on Technology & Innovation; and Rep. Jason Altmire (D-PA), Ranking Member of the Small Business Subcommittee on Investigations, Oversight and Regulations.

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The text of H.R. 1425 can be found HERE

Facts about the legislation:

The “Creating Jobs Through Small Business Innovation Act of 2011” (H.R. 1425): 

  • Allows for greater participation among small businesses with significant private capital support. Current law allows for 0% participation from majority-owned venture backed companies. This bill would increase venture capital participation to 45% for the National Institute of Health, the Department of Energy, and the National Science Foundation and 35% for the other participating federal agencies.
  • Requires a Congressional reauthorization after three years.
  • Increases both Phase I and Phase II award levels which have not been raised since 1982. 
  • Improves both internal and external evaluations by requiring the participating agencies to collect and disseminate specific information relating to program participants and outcomes, outreach efforts, Phase III successes, and geographic distribution of awards. This allows Congress to better determine how the program is working and provide more engaged oversight.
  • Standardizes some of the application process across agencies to allow for greater ease of use for small businesses.
  • Requires agencies to complete their review process for applicants within 90 days (or 180 days if the agency is granted an extension by the SBA).  This gives small businesses more certainty as to when they can expect a decision on their awards.
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