On May 15, the Senate Small Business & Entrepreneurship Committee held a hearing on reauthorization of the SBIR and STTR programs. Currently, these programs are not set to expire until September 30, 2022, but the Committee is looking into the possibility of reauthorizing them early.
SBTC Executive Director Jere Glover was one of the witnesses asked to testify on behalf of the SBIR/STTR community. During his testimony, Jere highlighted the fact that the US is falling behind the rest of the world in terms of technological development and innovation, and that investing in small business is one way to reverse this trend. He illustrated how the SBIR/STTR programs are the most successful innovation programs in government, and that not just reauthorizing but dramatically increasing the size and scope of these programs would help rejuvenate America’s global leadership in innovation. Follow the link below to read Jere’s full written testimony:
Chairman Rubio put the importance of the SBIR/STTR in perspective of China’s growing technological dominance, and the threat it poses to American innovation. He was particularly interested in how to transition technology faster, and how to better protect SBIR/STTR IP from China and other countries seeking to steal US technology.
Ranking Cardin stressed the importance of making SBIR permanent, saying that the program has proven its success and that small businesses need certainty to plan for the future. He also suggested taking a look at increasing the set-aside, and questioned whether the agencies were doing a good enough job training their contracting officials.
Jere reiterated SBTC support for SBIR/STTR permanency, increasing the set-aside, and increasing the amount and quality of training the agencies give their contracting officials, particularly with regards to Phase III and SBIR/STTR data rights. We included these in our legislative recommendations in Jere’s testimony (linked above).
To view a video replay of the hearing, and download other witness testimonies, click on the link below (Jere Glover’s panel begins at (1:15:30):