November 30, 1999 in SBIR/STTR News

House Committee Passes Controversial Bill

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As reported by the Wall Street Journal this afternoon the House Committee on Small Business unanimously passed a bill that would reauthorize the SBIR/STTR program until 2011. The bill is controversial as it allows venture backed companies to once again participate in the program.  The eligibility rules are written to allow firms owned and operated by venture operated companies to receive awards as long as the venture operated company does not employ more than 500 people or own more than 50% of the applicant organization.

Last week the Senate Committee for Small Business and Entrepreneurship also unanimously passed a bill reauthorizing the program until 2020 and allowing venture backed companies greater access to the SBIR/STTR program but to a lesser extent.  Importantly it limits the total amount of SBIR funds awarded to majority owned venture operated firms to 8%.  The NIH is the exception to this rule and allowed to use 18% of SBIR funds on awards to venture operated firms.  Both the Senate and House bills increase the award amount for Phase I and Phase II.

If both bills are passed by the House and Senate they will be sent to a conference committee and hopefully common ground will be found.

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