As SBTC has previously stated, in February the House passed a 5-year SBIR Extension as part of the America COMPETES Act, a comprehensive innovation bill designed to keep America’s technological edge over our competitors, particularly China.  The Senate passed its own version, called the United States Innovation and Competition Act, or USICA, which does not include an SBIR extension.  These bills are referred to on the Hill as USICA/COMPETES, or colloquially as the “China bill”.

The two Houses have now begun working in a Conference Committee to meet and reconcile the differences between the two bills.  The House and Senate version are very different, and there will necessarily have to be a lot of changes made to build a final bipartisan & bicameral bill that can be passed by both chambers.  SBTC is pushing for the SBIR extension to be included in the final version.

The SBIR Extension language is very simple, it is one line that simply changes the termination date of the program from 2022 to 2027.  Click the link below to view the language:

America COMPETES Act SBIR Extension Language

Because the language is already in the House version, we need Senate Conferees who are willing to push for it to be included in a final version.  Any Senate Conferees who would support the SBIR language are helpful, but particularly Republican Senate Conferees.  If your company has a relationship or is located in the same state as any of the Senators on the list of Conferees, we ask that you contact them and urge them to keep the SBIR language in.

USBIR Extension bullet points:

  • Support the SBIR extension language in the final USICA/COMPETES Bill
  • SBIR is an essential part of America’s innovative economy, and vital to maintaining our technological edge
  • SBIR is set to expire on September 30, less than 170 days from now
  • If SBIR is not extended soon, Federal Agencies will start winding down the program and allocating funds elsewhere, they won’t wait until September 30
  • Even a short-term disruption of the program could have dire consequences for high-tech small businesses, and American small business industrial base.

This may be the last opportunity to get an SBIR extension passed before it expires.  If it doesn’t get on this bill, there is a very real possibility SBIR could lapse.  Below is the full list of conferees for USICA/COMPETES, as well as the Senate Conferees.  Click on a Senator to go to their home page and learn more.

Full List of Conferees for USICA/COMPETES Act
Senate Conferees for USICA/COMPETES Act

Democrats Republicans
Sen. Patty Murray (Wash.) Sen. Roger Wicker (Miss.)
Sen. Ron Wyden (Ore.) Sen. Mike Crapo (Idaho)
Sen. Maria Cantwell (Wash.) Sen. Jim Risch (Idaho)
Sen. Bob Menendez (N.J.) Sen. Richard Burr (N.C.)
Sen. Sherrod Brown (Ohio) Sen. Rob Portman (Ohio)
Sen. Jon Tester (Mont.) Sen. Chuck Grassley (Iowa)
Sen. Mark Warner (Va.) Sen. Richard Shelby (Ala.)
Sen. Tammy Baldwin (Wis.) Sen. Pat Toomey (Pa.)
Sen. Martin Heinrich (N.M.) Sen. John Barrasso (Wyo.)
Sen. Gary Peters (Mich.) Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (W.Va.)
Sen. Mark Kelly (Ariz.) Sen. John Cornyn (Texas)
Sen. John Hickenlooper (Colo.) Sen. Todd Young (Ind.)
Sen. Raphael Warnock (Ga.) Sen. Jerry Moran (Kan.)