The Small Business Technology Council (SBTC) is urging lawmakers to oppose the Administration’s proposed cutbacks in R&D and the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, particularly the deep reductions in Department of Energy (DOE) and National Institute of Health (NIH) programs.

Below is a statement from SBTC Executive Director Jere Glover.

“Advanced technology will determine where the future’s high quality jobs will be.  Cutting R&D programs will cede the future of science and technology to other nations that are boosting their investments in R&D, and will have a multiplier effect on the next generation of scientists and engineers. Programs like SBIR competitively task American entrepreneurs and small businesses with innovating solutions to the many challenges we face, bolstering innovation and creating an atmosphere for growth in STEM jobs today and for generations to come.

“The SBIR program in particular has produced life-changing breakthroughs in defense, energy, communications, information and bioscience – and was broadly supported by Congress for a five-year reauthorization. Now is the time we should be growing such successful programs if our goal is economic and job growth.

“2016 studies by the Navy and the Air Force found that SBIR projects led to over tenfold or greater increases in economic output.  With only 1.7 percent of Federal R&D, SBIR/STTR firms have created over 20 percent of America’s new innovations, while paying back in taxes $2 for every program dollar.  We need programs like this to build a stronger economy.  Unfortunately, overall Federal R&D has declined, and the U.S. has dropped to third in the world in high technology exports, behind China and Germany.   We must reverse this trend.

“The DOE and NIH cuts threaten to chill the development of energy and health innovations at a time when these two areas will heavily define the future world economy. Wavering in our commitment to innovation would forfeit the game.”