US House appropriations bills would make major cuts to innovation

The House Appropriations Committee began releasing FY 2018 “markup” budget bills this week, and the proposals would cut billions in non-defense spending. EDA would lose $100 million* in funding, SBA’s entrepreneurial development programs would lose $34 million, NIST’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership would lose $30 million, and Energy’s ARPA-E would be eliminated, among other cuts.

Does Defense have $250M IOU to small businesses?

The SBIR program has been a legislated requirement of the Department of Defense, an agency responsible for roughly 40 percent of all federal extramural R&D spending, for more than three decades. One might expect that over that amount of time, the Department of Defense would have developed a system to become compliant with SBIR’s fundamental provision that a minimum threshold of innovation research spending be directed toward small businesses. Yet, a new report from the Government Accountability Office concludes DOD couldn’t say if it was meeting the threshold because, DoD did not submit the required obligations data. The report states “DOD officials told [the GAO] that obtaining obligations data would require requesting information from more than 10 individual program offices that, in turn, would have to request the information from various DOD comptrollers, which would be a major effort.”

Budget deal supports innovation, research

Congress has passed a budget for FY 2017 that largely continues support for federal innovation programs and R&D investments. Among the highlights are $17 million for Regional Innovation Strategies (a $2 million increase over FY 2016), level funding of $130 million for the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership and $5 million for SBA’s clusters program. In reviewing dozens of line items, offices that had received significant cuts in the White House’s skinny budget appear to receive some of the largest funding increases (such as the Appalachian Regional Commission, Community Development Block Grant and ARPA-E). However, with the exception of multi-billion dollar increases for Department of Defense R&D, many increases are rather small in terms of overall dollars. This is, at least in part, a reflection of non-defense spending caps rising by only $40 million for FY 2017, limiting the availability of new funds. In this context, science and innovation gains are particularly impressive, with a five percent overall increase for federal R&D that particularly benefits NASA and NIH.

SBIR Road Tour highlights funding opportunities

The U.S. Small Business Administration has announced dates for this year’s SBIR Road Tour, a national outreach effort to highlight funding opportunities through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. Combined, these two programs invest more than $2.5 billion annually as a way to spur innovation. At each of the road tour’s 16 stops, innovators, entrepreneurs, researchers, and small technology firms will have the opportunity to meet directly with SBIR and STTR program managers at the state and federal levels to discuss the program. The tour begins in May 2017 and will continue through October.

SBA launches 2017 InnovateHER business challenge

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) launched the 2017 InnovateHER: Innovating for Women Business Challenge – a cross-cutting prize competition to unearth innovative products and services that help impact and empower the lives of women and families.

SBA Announces Growth Accelerator Competition Winners

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), and its federal partners, announced the winners of its third annual Growth Accelerator Fund Competition on August 31. The 68 winners in 32 states and the District of Columbia were judged by more than 100 experts from both the public and private sector with entrepreneurial, investment, startup, economic development, capital formation and academic backgrounds.

New Initiative to Turn the Formerly Incarcerated into Entrepreneurs

As policymakers and economic developers grow to recognize the need to create broader opportunities for prosperity to sustain future national competitiveness, four facts reveal one of the complex and compounding factors hampering productive participation from a significant segment of our population:  

SBA Releases Final Rules on Small Business Mentor-Protégé Program

On July 25, the Small Business Administration (SBA) released a framework that allows qualifying small and disadvantaged businesses to obtain developmental assistance from mentor companies (both large and small businesses) and form joint ventures with those mentors to pursue government contracts.

SBA Announces $2M for Technology-Businesses Outreach, Assistance

As part of the Federal and State Technology (FAST) Partnership Program, the U.S. Small Business Administration has awarded up to $200,000 to organizations in 21 states to provide outreach and technical assistance to science and technology-driven small businesses. With an emphasis on socially and economically disadvantaged firms, the FAST program provides funds to organizations helping businesses better prepare to compete for Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) funding.

SBA Announces $2M for Technology-Businesses Outreach, Assistance

July 21, 2016

As part of the Federal and State Technology (FAST) Partnership Program, the U.S. Small Business Administration has awarded up to $200,000 to organizations in 21 states to provide outreach and technical assistance to science and technology-driven small businesses.


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