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Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program: Reauthorization Efforts

Wendy H. Schacht
Specialist in Science and Technology Policy

The Small Business Innovation Development Act of 1982, P.L. 97-219, created Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) programs within the major federal research and development (R&D) agencies. This effort was intended to increase participation of small innovative companies in federally funded R&D. Government agencies with extramural R&D budgets of $100 million or more are required to set aside a portion of these funds to support research and development in small firms through the SBIR program.

Reauthorized several times over the years, the SBIR program was scheduled to terminate on September 30, 2008. To date, the program has not been specifically reauthorized, but instead temporarily extended by several bills including P.L. 110-235 which extended the activity through March 20, 2009. P.L. 111-10 provided an additional extension through July 31, 2009; P.L. 111-43 through September 30, 2009; and P.L. 111-66 through October 31, 2009. P.L. 111-89 once again extended the program through April 30, 2010; P.L. 111-214 through September 30, 2010; and P.L. 111-251 through January 31, 2011. H.R. 366, a bill which would provide an additional extension through May 31, 2011, passed the House on January 25, 2011, and the Senate on January 26, 2011.

During the 111
th Congress, H.R. 2965, a bill which would have reauthorized and made changes to the SBIR program, passed the House, after which the Senate substituted the language of S. 1233 (amended) and approved its version of H.R. 2965. Also in the last days of the 111th Congress, the Senate passed S. 4053, a bill to “reauthorize and improve” the SBIR effort. However, the House did not take up this legislation.

Date of Report: January 27, 2011
Number of Pages: 10
Order Number: RS22865
Price: $29.95

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