The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program – A Victim of Politics and Influence Money06 Jun

There is before the Congress a continuing resolution related to a program that should have been reauthorized more than  two years ago. That program is the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program that was founded in 1982. Since then it has enabled nearly 18,000 small businesses to develop state-of-the art products and compete for Government research and development funds.

The SBIR program helps to sustain job creation with SBIR companies employing approximately 1.5 million employees with nearly a quarter holding advanced  degrees in engineering  and science.  These companies have contributed greatly to the U.S. defense, transportation, environment, energy, information technology, healthcare, robotics, materials and electromagnetic systems. A total of $2 billion is awarded each year by eleven Government agencies participating in the SBIR program.

The SBIR program was intended to benefit small business where the term “small” (i.e., less than 500 employees) did not imply companies owned by venture capitalists (VC). During the past two years, the VC industry has been lobbying Congress to redefine the “small” to the point where their political influence has stalled the SBIR reauthorization process. Unless Congress acts by September 30, 2011 the SBIR program will expire or be held on “life support” by yet another continuing resolution (i.e., that would be the twelfth one, a record setting number since 1982).

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One Response to “The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program – A Victim of Politics and Influence Money”

  1. Bob Ferrari Reply

    Yesterday, the President met with his Council on Jobs and Competitiveness in Charlotte North Carolina. On the Council’s list of initiatives are finding ways to accelerate the growth of small businesses in important growth industries and providing more financing and assistance to these businesses under the Small Business Administration.

    Its rather tragic that Congress cannot move forward with SBIR funding since it can be a key component to these same initiatives.

    The time is now for a comprehensive program aimed at accelerating the growth of innovative businesses and products.

    Bob Ferrari
    Executive Editor, The Supply Chain Matters blog

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About Dr. Everson

Prior to forming this SBIR consultant practice, Dr. Jeffrey Everson was director of business development for QinetiQ North America’s Technology Solutions Group (previously Foster-Miller, Inc.).

Dr. Everson has won and been the principal investigator for several SBIR programs, including a Phase I program for NASA, a Phase I project for the U.S. Air Force, and Phase I and II contracts from the U.S. Department of Transportation. For the Phase II program, he received a Tibbetts Award for exemplifying the best in SBIR achievement.

Previously Dr. Everson held senior scientist positions at Battelle Memorial Institute, The Analytic Sciences Corporation (TASC), Honeywell Electro Optics Systems Division, and Itek Optical Systems Division.

He holds a PhD in physics from Boston College and a MS/BS in physics from Northeastern University.


For more information about how JHEverson Consulting can help your company with its SBIR and STTR proposals, please contact Jeff Everson.

JHEverson Consulting is based in the Boston area but consults for clients throughout North America. It also is supported by affiliated consultants.