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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program

Wendy H. Schacht
Specialist in Science and Technology Policy

In 1982, the Small Business Innovation Development Act (P.L. 97-219) established Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) programs within the major federal research and development (R&D) agencies designed to increase participation of small innovative companies in federally funded R&D. Government agencies with R&D budgets of $100 million or more are required to set aside a portion of these funds to finance the SBIR activity. Through FY2009, over 112,500 awards have been made totaling more than $26.9 billion.

Reauthorized several times over the years, the SBIR program was scheduled to terminate on September 30, 2008. A companion pilot activity, the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program, was scheduled to end the following year. A series of temporary extensions kept both programs in operation until the SBIR/STTR Reauthorization Act of 2011 was enacted as Title LI of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012, P.L. 112-81.

In general, the new legislation reauthorizes the SBIR and STTR programs through September 30, 2017; incrementally increases the set aside for the SBIR effort to 3.2% by FY2017 and beyond; incrementally expands the set aside for the STTR activity to 0.45% in FY2016 and beyond; increases the amount of Phase I and Phase II awards; allows the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Energy, and the National Science Foundation to award up to 25% of SBIR funds to small businesses that are majority-owned by venture capital companies, hedge funds, or private equity firms and other agencies to award up to 15% of SBIR funds to such firms; creates commercialization pilot programs; and expands oversight activities, among other things.

Date of Report: November 14, 2012
Number of Pages: 12
Order Number: 96-402
Price: $29.95

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