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House committee backs new manufacturing office, increases for FAST and clusters

July 01, 2021

The House Committee on Appropriations advanced its first FY 2022 funding bills this week. Included in the financial services bill was $10 million for each of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s three main innovation programs: Regional Innovation Clusters, Federal and State Technology Partnership (FAST), and Growth Accelerators Fund Competition. The bill also includes language supporting a new White House Office of Manufacturing and Industrial Innovation to coordinate cross-agency policy and programs.

Among SSTI’s Innovation Advocacy Council’s top legislative priorities are increased funding for the Regional Innovation Clusters and FAST programs, and the House’s proposed funding levels would be increases of $4 million and $6 million, respectively, above FY 2021. The amounts also match the White House’s budget proposal from earlier this year.

The bill’s language supporting the new White House office may be insufficient to allow the appropriations to be used without further authorizing legislation. The Office of Manufacturing and Industrial Innovation authority is included in the Senate’s U.S. Innovation and Competition Act with a $10 million annual authorization. As defined in the Senate bill, the office would be responsible for reporting on manufacturing issues to the president and other agencies, as well as prioritizing concerns, producing reports, and coordinating stakeholders around these issues.

To learn more about the Innovation Advocacy Council, contact Jason Rittenberg (rittenberg@ssti.org | 614-901-1690).

legislation, federal budget, sba