Dear SBIR Gateway Insider,
Good news for all our DoD SBIR readers! The DoD SBIR/STTR and CPP program has been extended through September 30, 2010. However, this does not include any of the other 10 federal agency SBIR programs.
In this issue:
DOD Goes It Alone (For Now)
By a vote of 68/29 the Senate has accepted the FY-2010 National Defense Conference Report which was approved by the House on October 8. All that is needed is the Present's signature which is expected shortly.
Although SBIR occupies only a few lines in this mammoth 1400+ page legislation (H.R. 2647), its inclusion insures that the DoD SBIR/STTR and CPP will continue "as is" through the end of fiscal year 2010 (September 30, 2010).
As reported previously, ( www.zyn.com/sbir/insider/sb-insider10-07-09.htm ) the House and Senate Armed Services Committees (HASC & SASC) took the unprecedented action of including SBIR reauthorization language in their defense bill because they were concerned over the lack of progress in SBIR reauthorization by the House Small Business, House S&T, and the Senate Small Business committees.
Originally the SASC's effort included the entire SBIR reauthorization language of the Senate Small Business Committee's bill (S.1233), thereby affecting all 11 agency SBIR programs. However, in compromise with the HASC, the SBIR language was narrowed to DoD only for a period of 14 years (later reduced to 1 year).
The House S&T and House Small Business Committees strenuously objected to the inclusion of SBIR language in Defense Authorization, but HASC stood its ground. It has been suggested that House S&T subcommittee chair David Wu (D-OR) helped to broker a compromise whereby the 14 year reauthorization period was reduced to 1 year while the relevant House and Senate SBIR conferees would try to pass a respectable compromise SBIR reauthorization bill soon.
In the mean time you DoD SBIR folks should get ready for DoD SBIR FY10.1 that should hit the streets November 12.
Reauthorization - What's Next
Here we go again, only 6 legislative days until SBIR/STTR and several other SBA programs are set to expire on October 31, 2009. Although we are hearing that progress is being made by the House & Senate SBIR reauthorization conferees, there is little chance of them coming together and passing legislation prior to the expiration date.
What that means of course, is another continuing resolution (CR)! SBIR has been living on a series of 5 CRs since the SBIR legislation expired on September 30, 2008. These short term CRs have been devastating to the agencies and small businesses alike. Is it any wonder that the Armed Services Committees (who really value the SBIR program and its positive impact for the war fighter) chose to take matters into their own hands and stop this CR madness?
The fact that the HASC & SASC agreed to compromise with the House S&T and Small Business Committees by reducing their SBIR from 14 years to 1 year, tells us that they believe the relevant SBIR committees are committed to reaching an agreement for SBIR reauthorization soon. It also tells us that HASC & SASC are willing to let those committees construct a reauthorization that will cover all 11 agencies, thereby modifying the DoD changes.
There are currently no signs of how long the upcoming CR will run, but we'll all know more soon.
Political Credit Where Credit Is Due
The importance of the HASC & SASC SBIR actions cannot be overstated. Their bold actions are like a legislative defibrillator for SBIR reauthorization. As such, I want to reiterate a quotation of thanks and acknowledgement from the Small Business Technology Council (SBTC). I think it should be from the majority of the SBIR community:
"We are grateful for the leadership and hard work of House Armed Services Chairman Ike Skelton, Ranking Member Howard McKeon, Senate Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin, and Ranking Member John McCain. We are especially thankful for the hard work of Arun Seraphin of the Senate Armed Services Committee and of Tim McClees of the House Armed Services Committee. This allows the DOD to make sure the SBIR and CPP programs are going to continue developing and transitioning new technology to the warfighter."
Gratitude should also be given to Senator Mary Landrieu, chair of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, along with her staffers Kevin Wheeler and Thad Inge who also worked hard on this project.
Landrieu Bill Addresses NIH SBIR ARRA Exemption
Speaking of Senator Landrieu (D-LA), today she offered up a new bill, S. 1832, "The Small Business Access to Capital Act of 2009". In this bill, cosponsored by John Kerry (D-MA), Tom Harkin (D-IA), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), and Bob Casey (D-PA), there is a section devoted to helping correct the NIH's ill fated SBIR exemption from ARRA (stimulus act) funding.
Ms. Landrieu's Statement for the Record included:
"The Recovery Act included a controversial provision that exempts the National Institutes of Science (NIH) from participating in the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. This provision could cost small businesses as much as $230 million in lost R&D work, impacting the development of needed military and medical technologies and therapies. In addition, it directly counters the goals of the Recovery Act to create high-paying jobs, spur innovation and boost America's competitiveness. This bill contains a provision to correct this unfair exemption by requiring NIH to obligate $150 million of the Recovery funds it received to be used for SBIR and STTR projects."
It will be interesting to see how this plays out.
What a day this has been. We have seen DoD SBIR saved on the same day Bill Gates saved Windows by releasing Windows 7. Actually the good news about Windows 7 is that it doesn't appear to be incompatible with Grants.gov as was Vista. So far so good.
I'm looking forward to seeing many of you at the National SBIR Conference in Reno, Nov 2-5. Fritz Grupe has put together a comprehensive agenda and it should be a good conference. Check it out at www.unr.edu/sbir-sttr2009
If you can't make it to Reno, consider the Mid-Atlantic Regional SBIR in Morgantown, WV, Nov 30-Dec 2. www.midatlanticsbir.com That should be an good event as well, especially for the Mid-Atlantic folk.
We'll be back in touch soon with information on the SBIR CR.
Thanks again for your time.
40 Alderwood Dr.
Sequim, WA 98382
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