Washington, DC – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a measure authored by Congresswoman Suzanne Kosmas (FL-24) that will provide assistance to small businesses affected by the retirement of the Space Shuttle so they can commercialize their products and preserve jobs. The Kosmas Amendment gives preference to these small businesses when they apply for commercialization grants through the Small Businesses Innovation and Research (SBIR) program.
The Kosmas Amendment was included in the Enhancing Small Business Innovation and Research Act (HR 2965), bipartisan legislation that reauthorizes and increases funding for the successful SBIR program. SBIR is a competitive grants program that encourages small businesses to invest in research and development. The Kosmas Amendment was adopted by a 400-15 vote and the full legislation passed the House 386-41.
“As we work to minimize the spaceflight gap, I want to make sure that the hundreds of small businesses involved with the Shuttle program have the support they need to move forward and keep their employees,” said Congresswoman Kosmas. “The SBIR program has proven successful in helping innovative businesses find a market for their products, and my amendment will give Shuttle-related small businesses a leg up in the grants process.”
The Small Business Innovation and Research Act modernizes the government’s largest small business research and development programs, the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program and the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program, more than doubling the amount of the grants small businesses can apply for (to $250,000 for early stage research and $2 million for later stage research) and helping them engage in cutting-edge research.
The legislation cuts down on red tape in the SBIR and STTR programs, so that participating companies spend less time doing paperwork and more time getting products to market. By establishing a 90-day timeline for issuing a final decision on an SBIR application, the measure will help firms receive SBIR funding in a timely manner. The bill also puts a greater emphasis on helping smaller firms bring their products to market.
Since 1992, the SBIR and STTR programs have awarded 65,000 grants to small companies that are leading research efforts to cure diseases, strengthen national defense and reduce our dependence on foreign energy sources. Without action by Congress, these programs will expire later this month.
For more info on the SBIR and STTR programs, please visit www.sbir.gov