Friday, February 25, 2011

Hirono sponsors new SBIR/STTR bills

Quietly, Rep. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) introduced three bills in the House of Representatives, designated H.R. 447, 448, & 449, known as the SBIR Enhancement Act, the Small Business Innovation Enhancement Act, and the STTR Enhancement Act. Significantly, these bills would increase the SBIR percent allocation from 2.5% to 5% of agency's extramural R&D funding, and increase the STTR allocation from .3% to .6%; they would raise Phase I award levels to $200k, and Phase II to $1.5m (Recent SBA guidance suggested $150k & 1.5m); included as well is a stipulation that award levels be adjusted every five years.

Rep. Hirono sponsored all three bills independently, without co-sponsors on January 26, 2011. All three were referred the House Small Business Committee and the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology. Hirono serves on neither. There is no news on discussion or consideration by these committees, but on February 10, the bills were referred to Science & Technology's Subcommittee on Technology and Innovation.

There is nothing in these bills however that addresses reauthorization of the Small Business Act itself, so presumedly any debate or discussion on the duration of reauthorization would be handled separately, or would be amended to these bills.

Washington: Let's get on with SBIR reauthorization, to support small business innovation, job creation, and economic growth!