In 2017, the federal government awarded over 5,000 small business contracts through the SBIR/STTR programs across government departments and agencies, “America’s Seed Money”. Divided into three phases, phase one is fixed price, while phase two can be either fixed price or cost type. Since phase one is fixed price, some SBIR specialists argue that financial controls or budgets are not critical. I would argue that the more efficiently (operations and costs) you can produce for the government the more likely your project will succeed and receive future work from the government.
The majority of our small business clients are either currently working these contracts or graduated from these programs to larger projects.
The SBIR program was established under the Small Business Innovation Development Act of 1982 (P.L. 97-219) with the purpose of strengthening the role of innovative small business concerns in Federally-funded research and development (R&D). Through FY2009, over 112,500 awards have been made totaling more than $26.9 billion.
In December 2000, Congress passed the Small Business Research and Development Enhancement Act (P.L. 102-564) The program was reauthorized until September 30, 2008 by the Small Business Reauthorization Act of 2000 (P.L. 106-554). Subsequently, Congress passed numerous extensions, the most recent of which extends the SBIR program through 2017.
Modeled after the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, STTR was established as a pilot program by the Small Business Technology Transfer Act of 1992 (Public Law 102-564, Title II). Government agencies with R&D budgets of $1 billion or more are required to set aside a portion of these funds to finance the STTR activity. In 2001, Congress passed the Small Business Reauthorization Act of 1997 (P.L. 105-135). The program was reauthorized again until September 30, 2009, by the Small Business Technology Transfer Program Reauthorization Act of 2001 (P.L.107-50). Subsequently, Congress has passed numerous extensions, the most recent of which extends the STTR program through 2017. The goal of the STTR program is to facilitate the transfer of technology developed by a research institution through the entrepreneurship of a small business concern.
FAST Partnership Program
Congress sought to reduce the variation within state technology programs that foster economic development among small high-technology firms. In response, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2001, codified at 15 U.S.C. §657d(c), established the FAST program. The program expired on September 30, 2005 and was reestablished under the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2010.
Arrowhead Center’s NM FAST program is a superb example of the resources the Small Business Administration put into place to support the SBIR/STTR programs. These programs provide free assistance to help small businesses identify, propose, and manage SBIR/STTR projects. Steve Avery is happy to work with this program in helping New Mexico small businesses begin critical work for the US Government