SBIR funding safe until Sept. 30

Two key federal small-business innovation programs have once again narrowly eluded shutdown, but a long-term solution remains elusive.The Small Business Innovation Research program, or SBIR, and the related Small Business Technology Transfer, or STTR, program have received another temporary appropriation through Sept. 30.Without the passage of S. 990 by Congress, the programs would have become unfunded after May 30.There are several major sticking points between House and Senate versions of a long-term appropriations bill.The Senate version would restrict SBIR grants to businesses with majority ownership by venture capital firm to a maximum of 25 percent of SBIR funds. The House version, on the other hand, would allow as much as 45 percent of funds to be available to VC-owned firms.The House version extends the appropriation for a much shorter duration than the Senate’s – authorization would last only through 2014, instead of the eight-year timeline in the Senate version.New Hampshire firms have received 80 awards totaling $26 million in grants through SBIR in the last two years.Eleven federal agencies – including the Department of Defense and National Science Foundation – participate in the SBIR, STTR and related programs, providing millions of dollars in grants each year to small businesses – with awards reaching upwards of $750,000 to individual businesses meeting specific criteria. – CINDY KIBBE/NEW HAMPSHIRE BUSINESS REVIEW

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