Source: Homeland Security Today
With just two days remaining before expiration, Congress passed legislation to reauthorize the Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR) and the Small Business Technology Transfer program (STTR) for three years, and on Sept. 30 President Biden signed into law the SBIR and STTR Extension Act of 2022. The SBIR/STTR program represents one of the foremost vehicles for the federal government to invest in and scale emerging technologies paramount to United States national security. It is a critical enabling tool as the U.S. faces increasing competition from near peer adversaries. The significance of the program cannot be understated, evident from both its monumental contributions to the U.S. economy, and the widespread industry and governmental concern over Congress’ down-to-the-wire, last minute approach to reauthorize and strengthen it.
Reauthorization faced initial hurdles over concerns of unchecked foreign influence and fears that some awardees have been both too slow to commercialize their technologies and may be over-reliant on SBIR contracts to sustain their business. While the series of reforms passed by Congress go a long way toward assuaging these concerns, they will also require prospective applicants to familiarize themselves with new guidance.