Senate Asks SBA to Implement FAST Partnership
Last week, Senators Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME) co-signed a letter from the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee to Karen Mills, SBA Administrator, requesting that the SBA swiftly implement the allocated funds for the Federal and State Technology (FAST) Partnership. FAST provides funding for SBIR outreach support for the States.
The FY2010 Appropriations Bill includes $2 million for the FAST program. This funding represents the first funding the program has received in six years.
The Senators requested a schedule by February 12th for the implementation of FAST, including program announcements, review, award selection, and disbursement of funds under the FAST program.
"The FAST program was created to expand and improve the participation of small technology firms in the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs by providing matching funds to states," Senators Landrieu and Snowe wrote. "FAST funds are used within the states to raise awareness of SBIR and STTR, to provide technical assistance to firms participating in the programs, and to encourage commercialization of technology developed through the SBIR and STTR programs."
Interestingly, the authorization of SBIR will expire at the end of this week unless it gets extended again. The House and Senate have been debating a reauthorization bill since last year (see our previous posts about it).