SHAHEEN ANNOUNCES HER PROPOSAL TO EXTEND CRITICAL SMALL BUSINESS DEFENSE PROGRAM INCLUDED IN SENATE ARMED SERVICES BILL

June 14, 2011

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) today continued her efforts to secure a long-term reauthorization of the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, which allows small companies to compete for federal research and development dollars.  Shaheen announced that her proposal to extend the Department of Defense (DOD) SBIR program through 2018 was included in the initial draft of the Senate Armed Services Committee Defense Authorization Bill for 2012.

“Small businesses are the driver of our national economy and of national innovation, and SBIR has ensured that small businesses have also become vital contributors to our national defense,” Shaheen said in her opening statement before the Armed Services Committee.  “Many agencies – including the Department of Defense – have come to rely heavily on small, innovative companies to help them think outside the box to solve important technological problems.  Extending the program will help create jobs and strengthen our national security.  I hope the full committee and the full Senate will act quickly to extend this important national defense program.”

Shaheen has been a leading advocate for SBIR, and introduced an eight-year extension of the full SBIR program with a bipartisan group of her fellow Small Business Committee members on March 4.  The program is currently operating under a short-term extension, which makes it difficult for small businesses to engage in long-term planning. 

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