Federal Issue Brief

 Reauthorization of the SBIR/STTR

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AVMA Position:

Support

Summary:

AVMA supports legislation that would reauthorize Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and the Small Business Technology Transfer Programs (STTR). A number of bills have been introduced in both chambers.

Background:

  • SBIR/STTR is the nation's largest source of early-stage R&D funding.
  • SBIR was created to address concerns that product innovation had declined in many U.S. industries.
  • Small businesses create more than half of the country's innovation.
  • Through SBIR, Congress ensures that at least 2.5% of the federal government's R&D funding goes to small firms.

Justification:

  • Small businesses still receive less than 5% of federal R&D expenditure.
  • By harnessing the innovative power of small, technology-based businesses, SBIR has provided more than 50,000 patents since its inception.
  • On average, the program generates seven new patents per day, which is more than all U.S. universities combined—at less than one-twelfth their level of federal R&D funding.
  • SBIR success has been verified by every independent third-party evaluation it has received—including the U.S. Government Accountability Office and the National Academy of Engineering. The National Academy of Sciences has concluded that SBIR is "sound in concept and effective in practice."

Current Status:

  • June 1, President Obama signed S. 1082 into law, PL 112-17. The legislation temporarily extends some small business programs through July 31, 2011 and amends the Small Business Act to reauthorize through FY2011 SBIR/STTR, as well as the SBA's commercialization pilot program. It also requires all SBIR/STTR funds to be awarded pursuant to competitive and merit-based selection procedures.

AVMA Contact:

Gina Luke, Assistant Director, Governmental Relations Division, 202-289-3204