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Urges Congress to Pass Long-Term Reauthorization of Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR)

(Washington, D.C.) – In a continued effort to extend a critical small business innovation program, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) joined a bipartisan group of Senators today to introduce a bill that would authorize the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program for the next eight years.

“The long-term reauthorization of the Small Business Innovation Research program allows small business and agencies the certainty to innovate so that the United States remains competitive in today's global economy," said Shaheen, a member of the Senate Committee on Small Business. “In just the last two years, New Hampshire firms have received 80 SBIR awards totaling $26 million. I have visited many small businesses across New Hampshire who have benefited from SBIR grants. Passing this bill will give these companies increased certainty as they plan for future growth and success.”

SBIR allows small companies to compete for federal research and development dollars.  Despite bipartisan support, Congress has failed to pass a long-term reauthorization and the program is operating under a short-term extension, which makes it difficult for small businesses to engage in long-term planning.

First created by legislation from New Hampshire Senator Warren Rudman, SBIR was established in 1982 to increase participation of small innovative companies in federally funded R&D. Since its creation, 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 22nd in the nation for total grants awarded through the Department of Defense over the life of the program.

Earlier this year, Shaheen visited companies in Manchester, Hudson, and Somersworth to advocate for the reauthorization of SBIR. She also addressed the New England Council to speak about the importance of SBIR.

Shaheen joined the following Senators In introducing the bill: Mary L. Landrieu, (D-La.), Olympia J. Snowe, (R-Maine), John Kerry, (D-Mass.), Scott Brown, (R-Mass.), Kelly Ayotte, (R-N.H.), Ben Cardin, (D-Md.), Mark Pryor, (D-Ark.), and Carl Levin, (D-Mich.).

To view the text of bill S. 493, click here.

To view highlights of the bill, click here