NSBA-Supported SBIR Bill Introduced

March 8, 2011

The U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship is scheduled on March 10 to markup the recently introduced SBIR/STTR Reauthorization Act of 2011 (S. 493). NSBA strongly supports the legislation and urges the Senate to quickly adopt it. Please click here to read NSBA’s letter of support.

The bill reauthorizes the highly-successful Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program for eight years. SBIR currently is operating via its 10th  short-term reauthorizations since 2008. It also increases the SBIR allocation by one percent—from 2.5 percent to 3.5 percent—over the next decade.

The bill contains a breakthrough compromise on the highly-contentious issue of Venture Capital (VC) participation in the program. Specifically, the bill would render firms that were majority owned and controlled by multiple VC firms eligible for up to 25 percent of the SBIR funds at the National Institutes for Health, the National Science Foundation, and the Department of Energy. At the eight other participating agencies, these firms would have been eligible for up to 15 percent of the funds.

S. 493 was introduced by Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.), chair of the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, and cosponsored by Sens. Olympia Snowe, ranking member of the committee, Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), Scott Brown (R-Mass.), Benjamin Cardin (D-Md.), Jon Kerry (D-Mass.), Carl Levin (D-Mich.), Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.)

In addition to NSBA and it’s technology arm, the Small Business Technology Council, S. 493 has been endorsed by the Biotechnology Industry Organization, the National Venture Capital Association, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.