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NIH releases updated SBIR/STTR success rate data

Are you looking to increase the success rate of your state’s SBIR/STTR proposals? If so, a reminder that applications for the Small Business Administration’s Federal and State Technology (FAST) Partnership Program are due next Friday, June 28, at 4 p.m. EDT. This program provides one-year funding to organizations executing programs related to SBIR/STTR outreach, technical assistance, or financial support.

SSTI letter to Senate supporting SBA innovation programs

As covered in the last Weekly Digest, the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship held a hearing on reauthorizing SBA’s innovation programs. SSTI was invited to add to the hearing’s record, and our letter supporting SBIR/STTR pilot programs, FAST and entrepreneurial development programs is produced, below.

SBA funding available for accelerators, SBIR aid

The Small Business Administration (SBA) recently released FY 2019 announcements for the Growth Accelerator Fund Competition and Federal and State Technology Partnership Program (FAST) funding. Accelerators emphasizing underserved entrepreneurs can submit a brief application and slide deck from June 10-20; SBA anticipates as many as 60, $50,000 awards. FAST provides a funding match for programs supporting SBIR/STTR outreach and support services; the program is limited to one, governor-supported application per state, so interested parties should begin considering their application well ahead of the June 28 deadline. SSTI will be hosting a free webinar on June 5 at 3 p.m. EDT, in which SBA staff will discuss the two funding opportunities: register today.

Hearing sets stage for Senate to strengthen SBIR

The Senate Small Business Committee held a hearing yesterday on “Reauthorization of the SBA’s Innovation Programs,” which had a heavy emphasis on SBIR/STTR. Earlier in the day, Chairman Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) published a report on business investment, which places many shortcomings of the national economy at the feet of “sharedholder primacy” and calls for policies to incentivize investment by businesses into research and innovation. Among the topics raised during the hearing were making SBIR/STTR permanent, faster contracting, and additional support for innovative companies.

SBA: Small business share of GDP continues structural decline

The share of the nation’s economy stemming from small businesses — “the lifeblood of the U.S. economy” — has waned since 1998, according to a new report by Kathryn Kobe and Richard Schwinn on behalf of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy. Despite overall growth in small business GDP, the number of small businesses and their employment levels have not yet recovered from their pre-recession value.

SBA grants $3 million to support small business innovation and R&D commercialization

Twenty-four local economic development entities, Small Business Technology Development Centers, Women’s Business Centers, incubators, accelerators, colleges and universities were granted $125,000 by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) under the Federal and State Technology (FAST) Partnership Program. The 24 grant recipients, including seven that are members of SSTI (boldfaced below), provide support to small businesses developing and commercializing high-risk technologies.

SBA announces funding for regional innovation clusters

The U.S. Small Business Administration recently announced its intention to award up to seven contracts for entities to lead regional innovation cluster initiatives. While two of the awards are partially set-aside for qualified small business, the remaining five are being competed full and open, meaning any entity is eligible. Each contract will be for a base year and four option years, with a base-year price not-to-exceed $500,000. An overview webinar will be held by the Program Office on Aug. 8, 2018, beginning at 4:00- p.m. EDT, and a link to this webinar will be provided on the solicitation’s FedBizOpps page.  Proposals are due Friday, Aug. 24.

Four ways the White House reorganization plan could affect American innovation

The White House Office of Management and Budget released Delivering Government Solutions in the 21st Century, a plan for reorganizing federal agencies. On topics related to innovation, the wide-ranging plan would make changes to education, workforce, economic development, small business and more. Some of the suggestions could advance with administrative actions only, while many will require congressional support.

Senate committee would fund Regional Innovation at $25 million

The Senate Committee on Appropriations this morning advanced a funding bill that includes $25 million for Regional Innovation Strategies — $4 million more than the current funding round.

SBA & Treasury plans show less support for entrepreneurs

The U.S. Small Business Administration and Department of Treasury have released strategic plans through FY 2022. Similar to the new Department of Commerce plan, these documents do not mention programs and offices that the administration has marked for elimination, creating a lack of clear strategic direction for millions of dollars in entrepreneurship and innovation funding that Congress continues to appropriate and direct. Specific areas of concern at these agencies are the SBA’s Regional Innovation Clusters and Growth Accelerator programs and the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund.

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