WASHINGTON – Chair of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship Mary Landrieu, D-La., addressed close to 460 registered attendees of the National SBIR/STTR Conference this morning in New Orleans, La., about the effectiveness of the Small Business Innovation and Research (SBIR) program.

During her speech, Sen. Landrieu discussed what the program means to Louisiana and its growing biotechnology and health industry; encouraged more scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs to apply for SBIR projects; and talked about her efforts to reauthorize the program since she became chair of the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship. She expressed her hope that the next extension will go through Dec. 16, 2011.

“I believe our Louisiana SBIR firms will one day be household names like some of today’s most well-known poster children of the SBIR program,” Sen. Landrieu said during her remarks. “You know them -- the Sonicare toothbrush that built a $300 million business and created over 500 jobs …”

“What I like about the SBIR and STTR programs is that they represent the power of public-private partnerships. It’s impressive that out of $150 billion in national research and development dollars, SBIR and STTR program managers take $2.5 billion and get that money into the hands of big thinkers in small businesses who transform ideas into products or services, or better manufacturing processes. By asking small businesses to come up with and compete for solutions to our government’s research needs, we save money, we save time, and we contribute to the innovation economy of this country.”

The SBIR Fall Conference gives participants the opportunity to learn more about the SBIR and STTR programs as well as how to do research at the 11 SBIR agencies. The conference provides information about how each agency carries out SBIR and STTR, as well as the focus of each agency's mission and research, so small firms can focus their applications and business plans where they best fit to increase the opportunity for success. In addition, Louisiana businesses are able to showcase their technology at the Louisiana SBIR booth.

Enacted by Congress in 1982, the SBIR program is the largest Federal research and development program for small businesses and one of the largest examples of U.S. public-private partnerships. The program allows small businesses to compete for a portion of federal research dollars in order to help the agencies meet their many missions. By including small businesses in the nation’s R&D effort, SBIR grants and contracts are intended to stimulate innovative solutions to help the agencies meet specific research and development needs, from areas of health and environment to national defense and agriculture, and move the ideas from lab to market, whether for the government or commercial purposes.

Louisiana SBIR Attendees include:

• Geocent (Metairie, La.)

• Aquaculture Systems Technologies (New Orleans, La.)

• Dekk-TEC Inc. (New Orleans, La.)

• Autoimmune Technologies (New Orleans, La.)

• Evisive Inc. (Baton Rouge, La.)

• International Mezzo Technologies (Baton Rouge, La.)

• Enervana Technologies (Baton Rouge, La.)

• Minivax (New Orleans, La.)

• Cap Technologies (Baton Rouge, La.)

• NuPotential (Baton Rouge, La.)

• Teaching Research Institute (Baton Rouge, La.)

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