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Rubio, Shaheen, Cardin Introduce Legislation to Strengthen Investment in Small Business Research and Development Programs

Jun 28, 2019 | Press Releases

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, joined Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Ranking Member Ben Cardin (D-MD) in introducing the SBIR and STTR Permanency and Improvement Act of 2019, which will strengthen and make permanent the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Small Business Innovation and Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. Agencies participating in these programs provide awards to small businesses operating in high-technology and innovation fields, for purposes of research and development, with the ultimate goal of commercializing new technologies and innovative products.
“As foreign nations like China use state-owned, state-directed actors to undermine American companies and foreign competition, it is in our national interest to prioritize strategic domestic investments in our advanced industrial industries,” Rubio said. “Increasing our investment in research and development technologies through the SBIR and STTR programs is critical to that effort. As we work on a bipartisan, comprehensive reauthorization of the Small Business Act, strengthening these investment programs in order to advance the technological capabilities of federal agencies and small businesses is crucial. I appreciate working with Senator Shaheen and Ranking Member Cardin on this important bipartisan legislation.”
“New Hampshire invests millions of dollars from SBIR and STTR grant funding every year, boosting research and development opportunities at our companies and academic institutions throughout the state. These federal programs help ensure New Hampshire has a level playing field to stay at the forefront of innovation, which is why I’m excited to work with Senators Rubio and Cardin to see that the SBIR and STTR programs are permanently reauthorized,” said Shaheen. “The bipartisan support that SBIR and STTR enjoy speaks volumes to the success of these programs in unleashing the ground-breaking potential of America’s high-tech small businesses.”
“SBIR and STTR represent the best of government-industry partnerships, especially in Maryland, which is the number one state in the nation for research and development spending,” said Cardin. “The programs harness the creativity and ingenuity of America’s small businesses to solve the most pressing public health and national security challenges of our time, such as developing a malaria vaccine and critical cybersecurity applications. This bipartisan bill will ensure that SBIR and STTR will continue to foster growth in the small, high-tech companies that are creating jobs that lift families into the middle class. It would provide stability with permanency, more funding for small businesses to partner on promising technologies, and accelerate the slow award times that hold back needed innovations.”
“SBIR support from the Small Business Administration and NASA was integral to Made in Space’s successful production of the first functional objects ever to be manufactured off of the face of the Earth,” said Andrew Rush, President and CEO of Made In Space. “Today, Made In Space’s full-scale in-space robotic manufacturing and assembly capabilities and space manufactured products are direct descendants of technologies originally developed under the SBIR program. Made In Space strongly encourages continued support of programs, which enable the step-by-step development of new commercial space capabilities, including the SBIR program.”
The Shaheen-Rubio-Cardin SBIR/STTR reauthorization bill is supported by the Small Business Technology Council, which represents innovative small businesses across the country.
Specifically, the SBIR and STTR Permanency and Improvement Act of 2019 would:

  • Permanently establish the SBIR and STTR programs;
  • Double the allocation of each federal agency’s extramural research budget rising from 3.2% to 6.4% for the SBIR program and .45% to 1% for STTR by FY 2024;
  • Reduce the time between application and award disbursement across all agencies; and
  • Encourage startups that are backed by venture capital to participate in the program.