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Bills to Stimulate Innovation Advance

Mark Marich

On Wednesday June 24, the House Committee on Science and Technology held a markup on H.R. 2965, the Enhancing Small Business Research and Innovation Act of 2009. This Act reauthorizes and revises the Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR) program, which stimulates development of commercial products by small high-tech businesses.  The changes to the program are based on recommendations from witnesses during hearings on the program. This bill also reauthorizes and updates the Small Business Technology Transfer Program (STTR) program. Both programs will be extended through 2011 if this legislation is enacted.

“At more than $2.3 billion per year, the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs comprise the largest source of federal support for technological innovation in the private sector,” stated bill co-sponsor and Technology and Innovation Subcommittee Chairman David Wu (D-OR).  “Given the current economic climate, we need robust SBIR and STTR programs to create the next generation of companies that will provide high-paying jobs and grow our economy.”

The Committee also advanced H.R. 2729, which formally authorizes seven National Environmental Research Parks supported by the Department of Energy (DOE). The bill provides support to research and monitoring programs at these lands in order to enable long-term research in environmental sciences, and climate change.

Finally, the Committee advanced H.R. 1622, which reauthorizes DOE’s research, development, and demonstration program in natural gas powered vehicles and related infrastructure.

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