Just like the elves in Santa’s workshop, Congress has been busy this winter season! Among the chaos, three bills with the potential to impact small business Federal government contractors have been percolating. The first and third bill propose amendments to laws already in place covering surviving spouses of SDVOSB owners and the Department of Homeland Security’s Mentor-Protege Program, while the second bill proposes an entirely new SBA program for small businesses geared toward promoting research and development efforts.
We have recently touched on the growing impact space exploration is having on small businesses, and vice versa, but this dedicated hearing prompts a closer look at the opportunities small businesses will have for working on space exploration.
Beyond set-aside procurements, the government bolsters small businesses by encouraging their participation in federally-funded research. Two key programs exist: the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program and the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Program. Ultimately, the government hopes that participating small businesses will commercialize technologies developed with federal research dollars. While the two programs are similar, a key feature distinguishes them: the STTR Program requires a small business to partner with a qualified research institution.
SBA has issued regulations and directives that govern these two programs. Here are five things you should know about the SBIR/STTR Programs.