WASHINGTON – United States Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship Chair Mary Landrieu, D-La., today wrote to Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius and National Science Foundation Director Arden Bement, urging them to use their research and development Recovery Act funds to expedite the commercialization of Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) projects that are important to meeting our nation’s needs in defense, energy and health.

“The SBIR and STTR programs allow small R&D firms – America’s innovation lifeline – to create high-quality jobs and cutting-edge products,” Sen. Landrieu wrote in the letter. “We believe the SBIR and STTR programs are fundamental to our nation’s economic recovery.”

Using Recovery Act funds on SBIR/STTR projects would help “further technology to reach our nation’s energy goals,” Sen. Landrieu wrote. Additionally, SBIR/STTR contracts “can be awarded quickly, fairly, and transparently, in keeping with the spirit” of the Recovery Act.

Small firms are the economy’s engine of growth, pumping almost a trillion dollars into the economy each year and creating two-thirds of the nation’s new jobs annually. They also employ 41 percent of the nation's high-tech workers who generate about 13 times more patents per employee than large firms.

Click here to read the letter to Secretary Gates.
Click here to read the letter to Secretary Sebelius.
Click here to read the letter to Secretary Chu.
Click here to read the letter to Director Bement.