The SBTC is happy to announce that the SBIR/STTR Reauthorization has passed been passed by both the US House of Representatives and Senate, as part of the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), and has been signed by President Obama into law. The SBIR/STTR language included in that act calls for a simple 5-year reauthorization with no allocation increase or pilot programs, pushing the expiration date back to September 30, 2022. While this language doesn’t include the improvements and increases that we have been pushing for, we are very relieved and gratified that Congress has taken the initiative to extend this program this year, rather than putting it off until next year. Reauthorizing SBIR/STTR now will give SBIR companies the certainty and security they need to plan for the future and run their businesses without having to guard against the possibility that a vital source of R&D funding will be going away in 2017.
In addition, the Rapid Innovation Fund (RIF) at the DOD, which awards over $250 million in follow-on Phase III funding (~85% of which goes to small businesses), was made permanent as well.
Although there are no allocation increases included in this SBIR/STTR reauthorization legislation, there will be opportunities to improve the program next year, when the House and Senate Small Business Committees look at renewing the 3% administrative funds provision of SBIR/STTR, which is set to expire in 2017. SBTC will continue to work with Congress to find ways to improve the program, and ensure that it continues to be the most effective innovation program in the Federal government. We plan to hit the ground running next year with an education campaign to bring the new members of Congress and administration officials up to speed on importance and effectiveness of SBIR/STTR.
Thanks and gratitude are owed to all the Congressmen and women who made sure including SBIR/STTR Reauthorization legislation was a priority for this year’s NDAA, and ensuring that America’s high-tech innovative small businesses have the security and certainty necessary to continue their work.
In particular we would like to recognize and thank to Chairman David Vitter (R-LA) & Ranking Member Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) of the Senate Small Business Committee, Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) & Nydia Velazquez (D-NY) of the House Small Business Committee for making this a top agenda item in the Small Business Committee for both Houses; Chairman John McCain (R-AZ) & Ranking Member Jack Reed (D-RI) of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-TX) & Ranking Member Adam Smith (D-WA) of the House Small Armed Services Committee for making sure that the Armed Services Committees prioritized SBIR/STTR reauthorization as part of their annual NDAA cycle;
In addition to Chairmen and Ranking Members, we’d also like to highlight the contributions and efforts of Rep. Niki Tsongas (D-MA), Rep. Bill Shuster (R-PA), Rep. Steve Knight (R-CA), Senator Deb Fisher (R-NE), Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA), Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), and Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI). All of these members of Congress took a personal interest in SBIR/STTR reauthorization, and worked behind the scenes to make sure this important legislation was included in the 2017 NDAA. We encourage all members to reach out and thank your members of Congress for making sure SBIR/STTR is reauthorized, and let them know you appreciate their support of this vital small business program.
And of course, we also want to thank all the tireless staff members from both Houses and parties who have worked diligently for this entire past year to try to get SBIR/STTR reauthorization passed. It can sometimes seem looking from the outside that bills like these get passed at the last second, but this never could have happened without all the groundwork, negotiations, and behind-the-scenes maneuvering by Congressional staff to ensure SBIR/STTR reauthorization was included in the NDAA.
2017 NDAA Conference Report
SBIR/STTR reauthorization: Sec. 1834 on pg 1700
RIF permanency: Sec. 213 on pg 94