Innovation & Research

The dreams of America's entrepreneurs today often become the nation's innovations tomorrow. Small businesses produce more than 14 times more patents than large businesses and universities and employ nearly 40 percent of America's scientists and engineers. That's why the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship has taken up the reauthorization and improvement of the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs as a top priority.

The SBIR and STTR programs are a cost-effective way to ensure that our nation's most cutting-edge innovations have a chance to move from the lab to the marketplace. More than 100,000 small business projects have received funding from the SBIR program alone, with one in four SBIR projects resulting in the sale of new products or services: from a machine that sorts and inspects bullets at a finer level than the human eye to a needleless patch that delivers drugs through the skin quickly, cost-effectively and painlessly. The bullet-sorting technology alone has saved taxpayers more than $300 million and is being used right now to help our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Both programs have garnered high praise from well-respected sources, and governments around the world are increasingly adopting SBIR-type programs to encourage innovation in their countries.

Just 2.8 percent of the federal allotment of research and development funding is dedicated towards SBIR and STTR projects. Yet the programs remain the most cost-effective and innovative way to ensure that our small firms have a chance to develop the riskiest, but often times most cutting-edge, technologies to meet our nation's defense, health and energy priorities. At a time when our nation is struggling to dig out of this economic recession, we need the high-paying jobs and ground-breaking innovations that small firms create with the help of SBIR and STTR to ensure that America remains competitive in the global marketplace.

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