**Shaheen will introduce a bill to permanently reauthorize the programs**
(Washington, DC)— U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), the lead Democrat of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, invited Dr. Robert Kline-Schoder, President of Hanover-based Creare, to discuss the importance of the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs at a committee hearing to consider their reauthorization. This year, Shaheen will be drafting legislation to permanently reauthorize the programs, which are currently scheduled to expire on September 30, 2017.
“The Small Business Innovation Research and Technology Transfer programs help entrepreneurs across the country engage in the research and development that keeps America at the forefront of innovation,” said Shaheen. “There is strong bipartisan support to reauthorize the programs and I was glad we had the opportunity to hear directly from Dr. Kline-Schoder, who leads a small business that has been working with the programs since their creation.”
Creare is an engineering research and development firm that worked with the late former New Hampshire Senator Warren Rudman in 1982 on legislation to establish the SBIR program. During the hearing, Dr. Kline-Schoder discussed the positive impact the program has on fostering innovation, and the need for permanent reauthorization.
“SBIR and STTR have grown to be critical programs that enable the Federal Government to access the enormous technical talent employed by the nation’s small businesses and infuse new technology into critical systems,” said Dr. Kline-Schoder. “SBIR/STTR is a proven program, and frequent reauthorization with many changes proves tremendously disruptive to vulnerable small businesses and to the Federal agencies that count on these small firms to meet critical program needs. The program should be reauthorized for at least ten years, or, even better, made permanent.”
Many of the partnerships created through SBIR/STTR involve the Department of Defense, leading to innovations important to our national security. A 2013 SBIR contract with Creare is leading to the development of technology to more safely dry laundry aboard naval vessels, including submarines. Ships currently deal with dangerous fires caused by laundry machines that are not optimally suited for naval conditions.
In addition to helping Federal agencies meet public needs, the SBIR and STTR programs support the growth of small, high-tech companies that create good jobs in local communities across the country. The programs meet these goals by leveraging a small percentage of federal R&D spending. For fiscal year 2014, the most complete year of SBIR data, these programs resulted in $2.5 billion – out of an overall federal R&D budget of $136 billion – going to entrepreneurial small businesses.
Senator Shaheen worked to secure a six-year reauthorization for the programs in 2011, after the program went through 14 different reauthorizations in the three years between 2008 and 2011.