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Rubio, Coons Introduce Legislation to Improve Small Businesses Ability to Commercialize

Jul 16, 2019 | Press Releases

Washington D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, joined Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) in introducing the Research Advancing to Market Production (RAMP) for Innovators Act, which would improve small businesses’ ability to commercialize in the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. The RAMP for Innovators Act would expand access to research and development awards with preference to small firms with high growth potential, improve technical and business assistance, assess small business commercialization impact, and assist firms with the intellectual property protection process.
“It is critical that we harness small business ingenuity in advanced industrial industries by boosting firms’ ability to commercialize their technology,” Rubio said. “We are in a geopolitical competition with foreign nations like China and in order to compete we must ensure that small businesses have optimal opportunities to innovate and contribute to the global economy. It is in our national interest to make policy decisions that will strengthen American innovation and increase commercialization through the SBIR and STTR programs. I appreciate working with Senator Coons on this important legislation to help high-growth firms receive the support they need as we continue our work to comprehensively reauthorize the Small Business Act.”
“Startups are vital to job creation in the United States, but those companies need support to overcome market challenges and scale up manufacturing in America,” Coons said. “This bill will help American scientists and engineers protect the intellectual property of their pioneering technologies and form new companies that grow the economy. I’m proud to work with Sen. Rubio to continue helping U.S. manufacturers across the ‘valley of death’ and into successful market production.”
Specifically, the Research Advancing to Market Production (RAMP) for Innovators Act would:

  • Improves the timeliness of SBIR/STTR decision proposals, prioritizes firms with a likelihood of commercialization, and expands Direct to Phase II flexibility;
  • Requires the SBA to coordinate all agencies to develop a commercialization impact assessment;
  • Directs the SBA Administrator to coordinate with the United States Patent and Trade Office to allow some SBIR recipients priority and fee waivers with the OneTrack patent program, and  
  • Creates a designated technology commercialization official at each participating agency to provide assistance to awardees in commercializing and transitioning technologies, and report to the SBA actions taken to simplify, standardize, and expedite, the process.