congress

Regional Innovation Included in FY15 Bill; 254 Applications Received for FY14 Competition

December 11, 2014

Included in the continuing resolution/omnibus spending bill for FY15 is $10 million for the Regional Innovation program. The Regional Innovation Program was authorized under the American COMPETES Act and is designed to provide funding to support regional innovation activities. The program received its first funding of $10 million in FY14 after extensive work on the Hill by SSTI, its members and others.

Join More Than 60 Organizations in Supporting the Regional Innovation Program

More than 60 organizations have signed on to an SSTI-initiated letter urging Congressional leaders to fund the Regional Innovation program at $20 million for FY2015. The Regional Innovation Program was authorized under the American COMPETES Act and is designed to provide funding to support regional innovation activities. The program received its first funding of $10 million in FY2014, and the solicitation for that funding is expected to be issued any day. The Senate has approved $20 million for the program for FY2015, while the House did not provide any funding for the program. Organizations signing on to the letter include the Association of University Research Parks, the Angel Capital Association, the National Business Incubation Association, and more than 45 state, local, university and nonprofit organizations. The more organizations that sign increases our chances to secure funding. The deadline for signatures to this letter is Friday, August 15. To read the letter, learn how to sign on, and see those organizations that have already signed on Read more…

Your Support for the Regional Innovation Program Needed

As Congress continues negotiations over the FY15 federal budget, SSTI is hard at work trying to secure additional funding for the Regional Innovation program. The Regional Innovation Program was authorized under the American COMPETES Act and is designed to provide funding to support regional innovation activities. The Senate has approved $20 million for the program for FY2015, while the House did not provide any funding for the program. SSTI has prepared a support letter to Congressional leaders and is seeking organizations to sign on to the letter. The more organizations that sign will increase our chances to secure funding. The deadline for signatures to this letter is Thursday, July 31.

Congress Appropriates $10M for Regional Innovation Program

The FY14 Omnibus Appropriations bill, which the U.S. House of Representatives passed yesterday and the U.S. Senate is expected to pass on Friday, contains $10 million for the Regional Innovation program in the U.S. Department of Commerce’s budget. This is the first time the grant portion of the program was directly funded.  The program was authorized in the America COMPETES Act of 2010 and establishes the program “to encourage and support the development of regional innovation strategies, including regional innovation clusters and science and research parks.”

Congress Moves Forward to Address Immigration Reform in 2013

While Congress remains in deadlock over another looming budget crisis, there is bipartisan movement on national immigration reform. Last week, a bipartisan group of senators introduced the Immigration Innovation Act of 2013 that focuses on reforming immigration law for high-skilled workers and promoting U.S. global leadership in innovation. Components of the proposed bill include increasing the quantity of H-1B visas, increasing access to green cards for high-skilled workers while eliminating country-based quotas, and providing a pathway for citizenship for foreign-born students who complete post-graduate degrees at U.S. universities in STEM-related fields.

Tech Lobby Presence Grows in D.C.

In 2012, the tech industry lobby substantially ramped up their efforts to influence the federal legislative agenda. In the coming year, they are poised to grow their influence in Washington as debates rage over the future of technology investment programs and regulatory policies.

Senators Introduce Startup Act 2.0 to Accelerate New Business Development, Expansion

Sens. Moran (R-KS), Warner (D-VA), Rubio (R-FL), and Coons (D-DE) introduced legislation on Tuesday that would continue to spur the economy through the creation of new businesses. Senate Bill 3217, also known as Startup Act 2.0, expands on the initial Startup Act introduced by Sens. Moran and Warner in December, and builds on the success of the JOBS Act passed with bipartisan support in both houses and signed by President Obama earlier this year.

U.S. House and Senate Subcommittees Consider FY13 Funding for Commerce, NASA, NSF

This week, both the U.S. House and the Senate Appropriations Subcommittees on Commerce, Justice, Science and related agencies (CJS) approved FY13 funding legislation supporting several key TBED agencies. Press releases from the Senate CJS subcommittee and the House appropriations committee suggest that funding for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) program will likely remain close to the level indicated in the president's FY13 budget at $128 million or a bit higher. FY13 funding for the Economic Development Administration (EDA) is less certain, with the current Senate bill allocating $238 million and the House bill funding it at only $220 million.

Senate Continues Debate Over SBIR Reauthorization

With the Senate in recess, debate over SBIR/STTR reauthorization has been temporarily put on hold for the week. The reauthorization act has landed at the center of a larger congressional debate over federal spending, due to the more than 80 amendments that have been submitted for consideration. Most of these amendments propose spending cuts unrelated to SBIR. The main text of the bill would extend the SBIR and STTR programs through 2019 and increase award levels for Phase I and Phase II awards. It would also allow companies that are majority-owned by venture capital firms to receive some awards.

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