By Karen Axelton

Is your small business affected by the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) programs? In December, Congress voted to reauthorize the programs, and President Obama signed it into law. However, part of the reauthorization required the SBA to modify the rules governing the SBIR and STTR programs before the changes took effect.

Last week the SBA published the changes to SBIR and STTR in two documents you can find here:

Some of the major changes include:

  • Increase in set-asides for the SBIR and STTR programs
  • Requirements for more streamlining and simplification
  • Caps on the amounts of individual awards
  • More support for commercialization efforts and enhanced provisions for Phase III transitions
  • Greater reporting from agencies to increase accountability in the program
  • Stronger measures to prevent fraud, waste and abuse in the program
  • Administrative funding for initiatives at agencies to support all of the above efforts

The SBA is still considering comments from the public before these rules are finalized. The public comment period ends on October 5, 2012.

The SBA will also hold two webinars where small business owners and others can ask questions and get clarifications before the comment period ends. Webinars will be held:

  • Thursday, August 23, 2012 at 2:00 p.m. EDT
  • Wednesday, August 29, 2012 at 2:00 p.m. EDT

Pre-registration is required. To register to attend either of the webinars, find a synopsis of key changes to the program directives, and read FAQs about the programs and changes, visit the SBA website.

The SBIR and STTR programs are important to small businesses, providing more than $2 billion of R&D funding annually to innovative small businesses nationwide. This reauthorization will last six years, so the time to make comments, ask questions and get more information about how the changes affect your business is now!