Small Business Committee Approves Shaheen, Vitter Legislation to Permanently Reauthorize Successful Programs to Encourage High-Tech Small Business Growth

May 11, 2016

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

** Without Congressional action, programs will expire in 2017** 

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), the lead Democrat on the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship (SBC), and SBC Chairman David Vitter (R-LA), today secured committee approval of their 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. Yesterday, the Armed Services Readiness Subcommittee included a provision in the FY 2017 National Defense Authorization Act making permanent the SBIR and STTR for the Department of Defense. The Shaheen-Vitter legislation would make the programs permanent across all participating agencies. Currently SBIR and STTR are set to expire on September 30, 2017.

“The SBIR and STTR programs have helped entrepreneurs in New Hampshire and across the country engage in the research and development that keeps America at the forefront of innovation,” said Shaheen. “The bipartisan support that SBIR and STTR received today speaks volumes to the success of these programs in unleashing the innovative potential of America’s high-tech businesses.”

Shaheen has been vocal about the need to extend these successful programs and, earlier this year, invited Dr. Robert Kline-Schoder, President of Hanover-based Creare, to discuss the importance of the SBIR and STTR programs at a committee hearing.

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 public health and national security. The SBIR and STTR programs have also resulted in a good return on investment for taxpayers. A recent study by the Air Force found that for every Air Force dollar awarded SBIR firms generated $12 in economic growth.

Approval of the Shaheen-Vitter SBIR/STTR Reauthorization Act of 2016 follows a hearing held by the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship on the programs. At that hearing, witnesses testified to the importance of acting now to ensure that the programs do not face short-term extensions that hurt the ability of small businesses and federal agencies to plan effectively. Before the programs were last reauthorized for six years, the programs endured 14 stop-gap extensions, which created unnecessary uncertainty.

The Shaheen-Vitter SBIR/STTR reauthorization bill, which also makes several improvements to streamline and enhance the programs, is supported by a diverse group of small business advocates and innovators, including the Smaller Business Technology Council, the National Small Business Association, the Small Business Association of New England, and the Louisiana Technology Transfer Office at Louisiana State University.