House Small Business Committee Chairman Sam Graves (R-MO) and House Science, Space and Technology Committee Chairman Ralph Hall (R-TX) tonight announced that a deal to reauthorize the SBIR/STTR program, which was set to expire on December 16th, has been agreed upon. Legislation to reauthorize the program will be included as an Amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
“The SBIR and STTR programs are one of government’s most effective programs for spurring innovative ideas among the small business research and development community and I’m glad that we’ve reached a deal to provide some much-needed certainty for the small firms who want to participate in this program,” said Chairman Graves. “This deal not only gives the program stability, but it improves the program by opening it up to more companies regardless of their financial structure, it increases the Phase I and II award sizes, and it puts a stronger emphasis on commercialization. As our nation continues to recover economically, it is important for Congress to pass legislation like this that helps our nation’s most effective job creators and innovators—our small businesses.”
“I am extremely pleased that we have come to an agreement on a long-term reauthorization for the SBIR and STTR programs,” said Chairman Hall. “This agreement will provide thousands of small businesses with the certainty necessary to facilitate innovation and create high-paying jobs. The legislation will also strengthen the program’s research and development output by opening it up to more small businesses, and will ensure the greatest return on taxpayer investment by helping us combat waste, fraud and abuse.”
Key points in the agreement:
• Reauthorizes the program for six years;
• Allows for greater participation among small businesses with significant private capital support, increasing venture capital participation to 25% for the National Institute of Health, the Department of Energy, and the National Science Foundation and 15% for the other participating federal agencies;
• Increases both Phase I and Phase II award levels, which have not been raised since 1982. The award guidelines for SBIR and STTR awards are increased from $100,000 to $150,000 for Phase I and from $750,000 to $1 million for Phase II, allowing for an additional Phase II on the same project should it be especially promising;
• Increases the SBIR program allocation from 2.5 to 3.2 percent and the STTR allocation from .3 percent to .45 percent over the course of the reauthorization, which allows more access for small businesses to compete for R&D funds;
• Standardizes some of the application process across agencies to allow for greater ease of use for small businesses;
• Requires greater coordination between the SBA and the participating agencies to combat waste, fraud, and abuse within the SBIR and STTR programs;
• Requires most 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; and
• Introduces performance-based standards to encourage companies to focus on commercialization through phase III of the program.