The federal SBIR program has been a critical source of funding for our nation’s most innovative small and early stage technology companies since the mid-1980s. Eleven federal agencies, including the Department of Defense, National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health and Department of Energy award SBIR grants and contracts that help propel cutting edge technologies towards commercialization. The program, which has previously enjoyed multi-year congressional authorization, has been limping along on a series of continuing resolutions (CR) since late 2008. The current CR expires at the end of this month (July 2010).
I therefore find myself once again imploring entrepreneurs, small tech companies, and the technology-based economic development community to contact their representatives in both the house and senate to support the long term reauthorization of this key program.
For additional information on the SBIR program and specifically the issues surrounding reauthorization, take a look at the SBIR Gateway. The Gateway’s SBIR Insider Newsletter continues to cover the issues extensively, albeit not without bias. Regardless of where you fall on the individual issues, successful long-term reauthorization is critical. Please make sure your voice is heard.
Lisa M. Kurek, Managing Partner, BBC