National Defense Authorization Includes SBIR Reauthorization
Congress approved the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2017, which now awaits the President’s signature. The bill includes several significant provisions for the innovation community, including:
- SBIR is reauthorized through FY 2022 but without the administrative funds pilot program provision included in the 2012 reauthorization;
- The Rapid Innovation Program, which enables the Department of Defense to work with small businesses and defense laboratories to deploy new technologies through contracts of up to $3 million, is made permanent;
- The National Defense University and Defense Acquisition University are permitted to enter into cooperative R&D agreements;
- A Manufacturing Engineering Education Grant Program is authorized (but not funded) to support a wide array of educational, networking and research activities between universities, nonprofits and industry; and,
- A $250 million pilot within the Rapid Prototyping Fund is authorized (subject to the availability of funds) to work with nontraditional and small contractors.