Senate to Consider NSBA-Supported SBIR Bill

March 16, 2011

The full U.S. Senate is slated in the near future to vote on the 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 tenth short-term reauthorizations since 2008. S. 493 also increases the SBIR allocation by one percent—from 2.5 percent to 3.5 percent—over the next decade.

The bill also 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. For more information on the program, please click here.

S. 493 was introduced by Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.), chair of the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, and Sens. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), ranking member of the committee, and cosponsored by 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.). It was approved last week by the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship.

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

Please take a moment today to urge your senators to support the SBIR/STTR Reauthorization Act of 2011.