On May 21, 2014 the Co-Chair of the Small Business Technology Council, Bob Schmidt, testified in front of the House Small Business Committee on behalf of the SBTC on the current state of the SBIR program. The Hearing, titled “Oversight of the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer Programs”, sought input from business and organizations on the effect the programmatic changes to the SBIR and STTR programs made by the SBIR Reauthorization Act of 2011 had on the private sector, and how those changes had been implemented by the agencies.
Bob Schmidt testified that while the changes to the program were mostly positive, implementation by some of the agencies was too slow or nonexistent, and that more investment in small business and research is needed to further stimulate technological innovation and keep pace with competing nations. The DOD, in particular, has been slow to adopt the changes, and there needs to be a culture change in the way agencies approach small businesses. He also discussed the challenging fiscal climate that has made it extremely difficult for small businesses and start-ups to survive. With private investment and lending way down, the need that high-tech small business have for the SBIR/STTR programs has never been greater.