Posted by: Providence Chamber of Commerce | December 8, 2011

GPCC Urges Congressional Support for Reauthorization of SBIR and STTR Programs

The Greater Providence Chamber has reached out to Rhode Island Congressmen Jim Langevin and David Cicilline urging them to support long-term reauthorization for the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs.

The call to support comes as the legislation enters a Joint Conference Committee. The bill, which included the SBIR funding was passed by the Senate, however the House removed the SBIR funding piece when it passed the same piece of legislation.  

The message we are sending — these programs are key in ensuring that the nation and Rhode Island’s small, high-tech, innovative businesses are a significant part of the federal government’s research and development efforts.

Given Rhode Island’s efforts to grow the knowledge economy, and in conjunction with the recently released “Benchmarking the Rhode Island Knowledge Economy” report, SBIR funding is one measure of the knowledge economy and the quality of research & development being performed.

In 2010, Rhode Island received $5.5 million in SBIR and STTR funding. The Chamber, in conjunction with the Innovation Providence Implementation Council and other local organizations, is working to increase the amount of this funding coming to Rhode Island in 2012. 

Here is the correspondence that was sent on behalf of the Chamber and IPIC:

Dear Representative Langevin:

As President of the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce and a member of the Innovation Providence Implementation Council (IPIC), I am writing to urge you to support the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, and sign on to the Dear Colleague Letter crafted by Reps. Niki Tsongas, Edward Markey, and Peter Welch.

Given Rhode Island’s efforts to grow the knowledge economy, and in conjunction with the recently released “Benchmarking the Rhode Island Knowledge Economy” report, SBIR funding is one measure of the knowledge economy and the quality of research & development being performed. In 2010, Rhode Island received $5.5 million in SBIR and STTR funding and we are working to increase that funding coming to Rhode Island in 2012.  

Your help is urgently needed to help build upon a recent success moving the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program closer to reauthorization! As the nation’s largest source of early-stage research and development (R&D) funding, the SBIR program is a critical to small, innovative, technology-based companies. By harnessing the innovative power of small, technology-based businesses, SBIR has provided more than 50,000 patents since its inception. On average, the program generates seven new patents per day.

Despite this proven track record of achievement, the SBIR program has suffered through several years of temporary, short-term reauthorizations. It is time for Congress to pass a long-term reauthorization bill. The program and its participants need certainty.

Recently, the Senate approved an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act which is nearly identical to the NSBA-supported compromise crafted by the Senate. This compromise is supported by nearly every stakeholder group, including NSBA, the Small Business Technology Council, BIO and the Venture Capital community, yet the House still has failed to move forward with this compromise.

The Tsongas-Markey-Welch Dear Colleague Letter urges House and Senate Conferees to support the inclusion of the SBIR language. The Conferees need to hear a strong message that myriad Members of the House support the compromise language, and believe in a strong, successful SBIR program for years to come.

I urge you to support the SBIR/STTR programs. Thank you for your consideration. 

Sincerely,

Laurie White                                                                                                                     President


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: