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As Pivotal Small Business Research Programs Near Expiration, Shaheen Leads Permanent Reauthorization Solution

Shaheen has long been vocal about the need to extend the successful SBIR & STTR programs and has been a fierce advocate for them in Congress for nearly a decade. 

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a senior member of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, introduced legislation this week to permanently reauthorize the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. These programs assist small businesses in engaging in the research and development that helps keep the United States competitive, and many of the partnerships created through the SBIR and STRR programs involve the Department of Defense (DoD), leading innovations important to U.S. national security. Without action from Congress, the SBIR and STTR programs are due to expire at the end of September. 

“The SBIR and STTR programs give a leg up to local companies that can contribute to our nation and overall global manufacturing competitiveness in a big way. By helping small businesses punch above their weight, they not only level the playing field for companies to showcase their products and thrive, but also ensure the U.S. doesn’t overlook the expertise and precision that our small businesses bring to the table,” said Shaheen. “I’ve seen numerous companies across New Hampshire benefit from the SBIR and STTR programs, from manufacturing materials that are used by NASA to items being procured by the Department of Defense to help protect our troops. These programs are an investment in our local economy, as well as our national defense which is why permanently reauthorizing them is a no brainer. We know these programs work, and rather than continued stop gaps on reauthorization, it is time to make them permanent. This has historically been a bipartisan effort and I hope Republicans will come to the table and work with Democrats to protect and extend these important federal programs.” 

Also a senior member of the Senate Appropriations and Armed Services Committees, Shaheen has led action in the U.S. Senate in support of the SBIR and STTR programs. She has long called for a permanent reauthorization of the programs, and in 2016 successfully helped secure a five-year extension of the programs in the fiscal year (FY) 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that was signed into law. In 2019, Shaheen led bipartisan legislation that would make permanent and strengthen the SBIR and STTR programs. Shaheen has supported and announced numerous SBIR and STTR awards for companies throughout New Hampshire. 

Text of the legislation is available here.