Earlier this week, the Senate released its SBIR/STTR impovement bill, the “SBIR and STTR Oversight and Pilot Program Extension Act of 2017” (S. 1961). The Small Business Technology Council supports this bill, and has sent a letter to the Senate endorsing its passage:
The bill would enact limited, one-year extensions for 4 SBIR/STTR pilot programs: Phase Flexibility, Commercialization Assistance, Phase 0, and 3% Administration Assistance pilot programs. The reason for the short term of extension is because the agencies have not yet submitted reports to Congress, as required, detailing the effectiveness of these programs. The one-year extension should give agencies enough time to come into compliance with the law.
The SBTC believes it is essential to be able to see evidence that these programs are working and effective before any long-term extension or expansion is passed, otherwise the funds for these programs would be better spent on SBIR/STTR awards. We belive it would be better for no bill to pass this year than one that takes significant money away from SBIR/STTR funds.
In addition to the pilot program extensions, the bill would also strengthen reporting requirements, and create a regional collaboration program that would be funded out of the 3% administration assistance funding.