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(Washington, D.C.)-To help small businesses compete for federal research and development funds, the Senate today passed the Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR) and the Small Business Technology Transfer (SBTT) Program Reauthorization Act, cosponsored by U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH).  The legislation passed by unanimous consent and now heads to the House, where it is expected to pass.

The Small Business Innovation Research program helps thousands of small businesses compete for federal research and development awards.  The measure passed today will reauthorize the program for an additional eight years, through 2018. The program has been running on seven short-term extensions since October 1, 2008.  The measure also increases the percentage of federal research and development funds that will go to small businesses.

"Small business growth is key to our ongoing economic recovery, and I have seen firsthand how New Hampshire's small businesses have benefited from the Small Business Innovation Research Program," said Shaheen, who helped craft the measure as a member of the Senate Small Business Committee. "With this long-term authorization, small businesses in New Hampshire will continue to innovate and grow through research that creates jobs, advances technology, and keeps our country competitive in the global economy."

Creare, a Hanover company that conducts engineering research and development for government and industrial clients, has been an active participant in SBIR since the inception of the program. 

"SBIR has enabled Creare to conduct research and develop technology for a wide range of Federal agencies for applications ranging from medical treatments to space exploration to energy efficiency to national defense.  Consistent with the goals of the SBIR program, Creare SBIR projects have resulted in key technical advances to address critical national needs as well as fostered economic growth through commercialization of the innovative technologies we invent, either directly at Creare or via spinoff firms, new ventures, and technology licensees," said Creare President James Barry.

"Creare is very pleased that SBIR reauthorization legislation has passed the Senate.  We greatly appreciate Senator Shaheen's strong support of the SBIR program throughout the reauthorization process," Barry said.

SBIR was enacted in 1982 as part of the Small Business Innovation Development Act.  Since then, New Hampshire firms have received over $330 million in research grants through the SBIR program. Over the last two years, New Hampshire firms received 80 total awards totaling $26 million in grants through SBIR. Despite its size, New Hampshire is ranked #22 for total grants awarded through the Department of Defense over the life of the program.

Former U.S. Senator Warren Rudman (R-NH) was the author of the legislation that originally established the SBIR program.