Lipinski Helps Pass Bill to Aid Small Technology Companies in Creating Jobs

Improvements to Small Business Research Grant Program Encourage American Innovation

On Wednesday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed The Enhancing Small Business Research and Innovation Act of 2009 (H.R. 2965) to reauthorize and improve the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. These two federal programs are the largest research and development (R&D) programs for small businesses, providing funding to develop and commercialize new technologies. Since the programs' inception, Congressman Lipinski has helped secure more than $2.5 million in seed money for small high-tech firms' R&D activities in his district.

"For more than 25 years, the SBIR and STTR programs have played a significant role in turning a wide variety of innovative dreams into reality - from needleless insulin patches to wireless technology for Blackberrys," Lipinski said. "In the current economic climate, we must do everything in our power to support small high-tech start-up companies, as they are essential for competitiveness, economic growth, and job creation."

The bill passed by a vote of 386-41. Prior to consideration in the full House, Lipinski supported passage in the Small Business Committee and the Science and Technology Committee, on which he is a leading member. The legislation calls for increased award sizes for early and mid-stage development (Phase I and Phase II) to better support high-tech research at small firms. It also expands the programs to include some venture capital-backed small businesses.

"The expansion and modernization of the SBIR and STTR programs comes at an opportune time," Lipinski said. "With unemployment currently at 9.5 percent, there is a critical need to strengthen the small businesses that generate 70 percent of new jobs in our country. These two programs give innovative small businesses the support they need to create new jobs, new technologies, and even entirely new American industries. I firmly believe that this will help boost our economy and improve our long-term competitiveness."

(July 13, 2009)


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