On September 29, 2 days before the program was set to lapse, the House passed legislation reauthorizing the SBIR program by a vote of 415-9. The SBIR and STTR Extension Act of 2022 (S. 4900) was passed by the Senate on September 21, and now will be sent to the President, where he is expected to sign it soon. This now ensures that there will be no expiration of the SBIR and STTR program for the next 3 years, moving the termination date to September 30, 2025 as well as make certain changes to the program regarding reporting requirements related to research security and increased standards and benchmarks for multiple award winners.
Both SBTC and its parent organization NSBA have been instrumental in helping to negotiate and push forward reauthorizing language to prevent a program shutdown. Short of a permanent passage, extensions of SBIR/STTR are vital to ensuring opportunities for small business for research, technology, and takes important and necessary steps forward to ensure the near-term stability and predictability of the program. We are also grateful to all our members who contacted and communicated with their members of Congress to let them know how important these programs are.
Video of S. 4900 Introduced in the House and Floor Debate:
Originally Posted 9/21:
On September 21 the Senate passed a bill reauthorizing the SBIR/STTR programs, clearing the biggest hurdle for reauthorization. Introduced by Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee Chair Sen. Cardin, S. 4900 will extend the programs for 3 years, moving the termination date to September 30, 2025. It also makes changes to the program that focus on research security, protecting SBIR technology from theft by China and other adversarial governments, and increased standards for Phase 1 to 2 transition and Commercialization for multiple award winners. The next step in the process will be the House taking up and passing the bill, which we expect to occur next week.
The new, more stringent language addressing research security will result in an increase in reporting requirements and paperwork burden that firms will need to be aware of. In addition, firms with over 50 Phase 1s over the past 5 years will need to show a 50% transition rate to Phase 2. Firms with 50 Phase 2s over the past 10 years will need to show $250,000 in sales or investment for every Phase 2, and Firms with over 100 Phase 2s over the past 10 years will need to show $450,000 in sales or investment for every Phase 2. The consequence for missing these benchmarks will be a limit of 20 Phase 1s and Direct to Phase 2 awards per year at each agency.
In the coming months, the Small Business Technology Council will provide more guidance and clarity for SBIR firms on what these changes mean, and how firms can come into compliance. SBTC will also work with SBA and the agencies to better understand how these changes will be implemented, and what they mean for small businesses.