H.R. 2965 re-authorizing the SBIR/STTR programs passed the house last week (July 9, 2009) and Senate approved reauthorization on July 13, 2009, extending the SBIR/STTR programs for another 8 years. Now the final bill must be written and presented to President Obama for signature into law before the July 31, 2009 expiration. While we are happy that it passed unanimously we are also concerned about a couple of caveats included in the legislation. The award amounts for the grants have been increased to as much as $250,000 for Phase 1 to $2,000,000 for Phase 2. These adjustments are seen as compensating for inflation over the period since the programs were last authorized. While this is good, it will almost certainly reduce the number of awards. This will mean that the success rate of winning grants in this program will go down. It becomes imperative that small businesses depending upon these funds will be required to refine their proposal efforts. No longer can you depend upon “luck” to win a grant. Experts, such as Tech BizSolutions, will become more valuable as partners to these small businesses.
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