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Shaheen, Rubio, Cardin Lead Legislation to Permanently Reauthorize Successful Programs to Encourage High-Tech Small Business Growth

**Small Business & Entrepreneurship Committee Leadership Spearhead Bipartisan Bill That Invests in Long-term Certainty for Small Business Research Innovation Programs** 

**SBIR, STTR have proven track record of helping small businesses succeed and grow**

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a senior member of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship (SBC), SBC Chairman Marco Rubio (R-FL) and SBC Ranking Member Ben Cardin (D-MD) yesterday introduced legislation to make permanent and strengthen the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. These programs award competitive contracts to small businesses to develop innovative technologies that keep the U.S. economy competitive and address national security needs. The SBIR and STTR Permanency and Improvement Act of 2019 would make the programs permanent across all participating agencies. 

“New Hampshire invests millions of dollars from SBIR and STTR grant funding every year, boosting research and development opportunities at our companies and academic institutions throughout the state. These federal programs help ensure New Hampshire has a level playing field to stay at the forefront of innovation, which is why I’m excited to work with Senators Rubio and Cardin to see that the SBIR and STTR programs are permanently reauthorized,” said Shaheen. “The bipartisan support that SBIR and STTR enjoy speaks volumes to the success of these programs in unleashing the ground-breaking potential of America’s high-tech small businesses.”

“As foreign nations like China use state-owned, state-directed actors to undermine American companies and foreign competition, it is in our national interest to prioritize strategic domestic investments in our advanced industrial industries,” Rubio said. “Increasing our investment in research and development technologies through the SBIR and STTR programs is critical to that effort. As we work on a bipartisan, comprehensive reauthorization of the Small Business Act, strengthening these investment programs in order to advance the technological capabilities of federal agencies and small businesses is crucial. I appreciate working with Senator Shaheen and Ranking Member Cardin on this important bipartisan legislation.”

“SBIR and STTR represent the best of government-industry partnerships, especially in Maryland, which is the number one state in the nation for research and development spending,” said Cardin. “The programs harness the creativity and ingenuity of America’s small businesses to solve the most pressing public health and national security challenges of our time, such as developing a malaria vaccine and critical cybersecurity applications. This bipartisan bill will ensure that SBIR and STTR will continue to foster growth in the small, high-tech companies that are creating jobs that lift families into the middle class. It would provide stability with permanency, more funding for small businesses to partner on promising technologies, and accelerate the slow award times that hold back needed innovations.

“Creare wholeheartedly supports the bill Senator Shaheen has championed to make the SBIR/STTR program permanent.  The SBIR/STTR program has been instrumental in accessing innovative, entrepreneurial small business solutions to address challenging problems of national importance,” said Bob Kline-Schoder, President and Principal Engineer of Creare. “For many large-scale development programs for space and energy systems, the military, and public health, SBIR/STTR is a crucial element in the technology development roadmap. Senator Shaheen’s bill to make the program permanent would be a watershed event, as the program has required reauthorization many times in the past over 35 years and the uncertainty surrounding reauthorization is disruptive to program planning, small business management and employees, and government clients alike.“

Shaheen has been vocal about the need to extend these successful programs and has been a fierce advocate for these programs in Congress for nearly a decade.

The SBIR and STTR programs support the growth of small, high-tech companies by leveraging a small percentage of federal research and development funding. The programs allow small businesses to support federal agencies through contracts in such areas as aerospace engineering, public health and national security. The SBIR and STTR programs have also resulted in a valuable return on investment for taxpayers.

Specifically, the SBIR and STTR Permanency and Improvement Act of 2019 would:

  • Gradually increase the allocation of SBIR and STTR awards in order to make more awards and explore more innovations;
  • Make these vital programs permanent to provide certainty to small business innovators and federal agencies alike; and
  • Implement initiatives to reduce duplicative reporting for small businesses, speed up the review of applications, and simplify program implementation for agencies.


Text of the legislation is available here.