[Kreweoftruth] Sen. Landrieu: Moving Forward with a Bi-Partisan Initiative for Job Creation
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Mon Apr 4 10:57:33 EDT 2011
Moving Forward with A
Bi-Partisan Initiative for Job Creation in America
Here are a just a few examples of why it is imperative that we renew the Small Business Innovation and Research Act (SBIR) and the Science Technology program (STTR). Small businesses throughout the United States, including the following successful companies in Louisiana, have created many new jobs with the support of these two successful initiatives:
The Baton Rouge-based company, Mezzo Technologies, received an SBIR grant to create technology to vastly improve the radiator inside the Bradley tank. The funding helped improve our military and create jobs in the state of Louisiana. The company, which started with 2 employees, now has a payroll of $1.2 million. And if that weren’t enough, NASCAR has expressed serious interest in the improved radiator. During its time in the SBIR program, Mezzo Technologies has received grants through DoD, NASA, and NSF.
An SBIR award from the National Science Foundation to Network Foundation Technologies, LLC (NiFTy), based in Ruston, Louisiana, provided the much needed capital to jump start the enterprise. NiFTy brings television-style broadcasting to the Internet and provides Louisiana Tech students with higher than average paying student employment.
Soldiers will soon have advanced technology heating and cooling system suits thanks to a company that began in the small town of St. Francisville, Louisiana. ExposureWear has been awarded a $1 million key development contract from the Army to provide next generation cooling/heating suits for soldiers. The Army Climatic Suit is a next-generation soldier cooling system removes excess body heat trapped under protective equipment and clothes. In addition, the system has the potential to be used by firefighters, law enforcement, hazmat crews and workers impacted by extreme temperatures.
NuPotential, Inc. received its second Phase I STTR grant of $310,768.00 from the National Institutes of Health National Center for Research Resources. This grant will help further their research. NuPotential’s patented cell reprogramming process is designed to generate new living cells that have the same capabilities as embryonic stem cells.
The problem is that SBIR/STTR expired in 2006, and the Senate Small Business Committee has not been able to find consensus on terms of reauthorization. The SBIR/STTR Reauthorization Act of 2011 could change all that. After I became Chair of the Small Business Committee in 2009, I made it a top priority to come up with legislation to boost innovation, promote small business and put America back to work - these two important initiatives do all three. On March 9, The SBIR/STTR Reauthorization Act of 2011 passed out of committee by a vote of 18-1. The bill is now under debate on the Senate floor.
Among compromises and improvements meant to help small businesses achieve success and create jobs through innovation, The SBIR/STTR Reauthorization Act of 2011:
· Makes firms majority-owned and controlled by multiple venture capital firms eligible for up to 25 percent of the SBIR funds at NIH, NSF, and DoE and up to 15 percent of the funds at the other eight agencies;
· Reauthorizes the programs for 8 years;
· Increases the SBIR program R&D allocation from each agency by one percent, from 2.5 to 3.5 percent, spread out over ten years;
· Increases the STTR program allocation from .3 percent to .6 percent over six years;
· Allows for up to 3 percent of the SBIR allocation for administrative, oversight and processing costs if there is an allocation increase.
· Codifies the award guidelines for SBIR and STTR awards from $100,000 to $150,000 for Phase I and from $750,000 to $1 million for Phase II and allows for a second Phase II award.
· Provides for annual increases for inflation to keep award levels realistic for R&D costs.
· Reauthorizes and enhances the Federal and State Technology Partnership program, or FAST program, and the Rural Outreach Program, programs that have been effective in increasing the participation of small business in federal research and development and the start-up of high-tech firms;
· Streamlines and improves data collection and reporting requirements for the SBIR and STTR programs, including developing metrics for annual evaluations by each participating agency, as reflected in the amendment by Dr. Coburn;
· For oversight and fraud prevention, mandates amendment of the SBIR/STTR Policy Directives to include specific measures to prevent waste, fraud and abuse; requires inspectors general of participating federal agencies to establish fraud detection measures, coordinate fraud related information sharing between agencies, and provide fraud prevention related education and training to agencies administering the program;
· And strengthens the SBA’s existing Tech-Net Database to help IGs combat cases of waste, fraud and abuse.
According to a poll conducted by the University of Maryland, College Park’s Robert H. Smith School of Business and Network Solutions LLC, small businesses plan to add 3.8 million jobs nationwide this year. And, if the SBIR/STTR Reauthorization Act of 2011 passes, it could potentially create even more jobs for the American workforce. As the largest federal research and development program for small businesses, The Small Business Innovation and Research (SBIR) and Science Technology Transfer (STTR) programs create public-private partnerships that stimulate technological innovation and increase private sector commercialization of innovations derived from federal research and development.
The SBIR/STTR Reauthorization Act of 2011 has the support of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), The Small Business Technology Coalition (SBTC), the National Small Business Association, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, NFIB, the National Venture Capital Association, local technology groups, and various universities.
It is important to note that without the research and innovation that comes from the support of SBIR/STTR, the men and women who serve in the military would be less safe; communicating in times of disaster would be more difficult; and American medical research would fall behind the curve. The SBIR and STTR programs provide taxpayers an enormous return on their investment. In this time of great concern over how we spend our tax dollars, SBIR and STTR are a textbook example of public money well invested. That is why I am leading the effort to pass the SBIR/STTR Reauthorization Act of 2011.
But with a broad range of stakeholders now behind this compromise, the chances are greater than ever that SBIR/STTR will be around for years to come, assuring the availability of a valuable resource for small businesses determined to make a difference in the marketplace.
**Please feel free to share with others who may be interested**
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