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BIO Praises SBA for Publishing Final Rule on SBIR/STTR Reauthorization

Small Business Innovation Research grants provide critical support for emerging biotech companies working on cures and treatments.

WASHINGTON DC, January 8, 2013 -- BIO lauds the Administration and the U.S. Small Business Association (SBA) for recognizing the importance of updating the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program to reflect the realities facing today’s emerging biotech companies. SBA published its final rule on ownership and affiliation criteria to implement changes required by the SBIR/STTR Reauthorization Act, which was signed into law in 2012.  This Act extended the SBIR program through September 30, 2017 and changed the eligibility criteria to allow companies that are majority-owned by multiple domestic venture capital firm to once again be able to compete in the program.

“SBIR is an aggressively competitive program that fulfills federal research and development goals of bringing breakthrough medical discoveries to the American people,” said Douglas Doerfler, President and CEO of MaxCyte and a BIO Board member.  “The scientific successes of companies receiving SBIR grants will lead to a healthier public and a stronger economy and we therefore applaud the Administration and the SBA for updating this program to support emerging biotech companies working to develop cures and treatments.”

SBIR grants are critical for supporting the ability of small companies with promising scientific innovation to continue critical research and development of medical advancements and breakthroughs. SBIR should, and now will be, an aggressively competitive program that fulfills federal research and development goals of bringing breakthrough public health discoveries to the public.  The importance of advancing science has never been more important than it is right now as companies are struggling to recover from the economic crisis, and accelerate growth, hiring and research.


The SBIR and STTR provisions that were part of the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2012 stated that small businesses that are majority owned by multiple venture capital companies, private equity firms, or hedge funds could compete for 25 percent of SBIR funding at the National Institutes of Health, Department of Energy, and National Science Foundation and 15 percent of SBIR funding at all other participating agencies.  On May 15, 2012, SBA published a proposed rule for determining ownership, affiliation, and size standards.  On December 27, SBA published the final rule, which will go into effect on January 28, 2013.  The final rule provides many clear and bright-line tests that will both encourage participation by small companies as well as protect the integrity of the program.

BIO will continue to engage both SBA and NIH and work to ensure the new rule is implemented as soon as possible so that small majority venture backed companies will be able to once again participate in the program.

The final rule can be viewed at: