The SBIR/STTR program has not been reauthorized yet but we are one step closer as the December 16th deadline approaches.
Monday (December 12, 2012) word of a Senate/House compromise was announced that may lead to a positive outcome that would reauthorize the SBIR/STTR program for six years. This would be a huge improvement over the multiple short term extensions we have seen in recent years.
The agreement between the Senate and House on SBIR/STTR reauthorization is in the form of negotiated modifications to an amendment offered to the Senate’s version of the National Defense Authorization Act for 2012 (NDAA), by Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA), chair of the Senate
Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship.
More than 1,000 small businesses and affiliates (including the NSBA, SBTC, BIO, and AZBio) sent a letter to Congress encouraging House leaders to keep the Senate’s SBIR reauthorization amendment in the NDAA.
House Small Business chair Sam Graves (R-MO), and House S&T chair, Ralph Hall (R-TX) made a joint announcement of agreeing to a deal on Landrieu’s SBIR amendment on Monday evening. Highlights include:
- Authorization for 6 years (through 2017)
- Majority ownership by VC, private equity and hedge funds allowed up to 25% for NIH, DOE and NSF, and up to 15% for the others.
- Increasing the SBIR allocation from 2.5 to 3.2 percent and the STTR allocation from .3 percent to .45 percent incrementally over the 6 years of reauthorization.
- Allows 3% of SBIR funds for the agencies to use for administration, outreach, and increasing participation from “have not” states, and minorities.
- Does not include House section 505, limiting awards to companies, but develops guidelines to measure success of a firm’s participation.
- Does allow (at an agency’s discretion) skipping of phase I (limited to DoD, NIH, and ED).
Sources: Rick Shindell, SBIR Insider and NSBA.biz