As the deadline for the SBIR/STTR programs rapidly approaches, there are differences by the bills passed by the House and by the Senate. Both of the bills are in favor of continuting the SBIR/STTR programs into the future. The House bill (H.R. 2965 that passed the House unanimously on 7/8/09) has significatnly increased the levels of funding for each award, which many experts feel may reduce the number of awards in the future. This could have the result of reducing the overall amount of new product development spurred by the program. Also the House bill allows participation by Venture Capital firms, which many feel will divert money away from small business. Again, this could serve to harm more than help the targets of the program. The Senate version (S.1233 that passed the senate unanimously on 7/13/09) appears to be more "friendly" to small business, thanks to the Markey ammendment. While it also increases the amounts of awards, the increase in the limits of the Senate version are more in line to compensate for inflation. We suggest that you contact your representatives immediately and tell them to support the Senate version of the bill in the interest of small business. There is only a week left on this so timing is critical to act now.