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SPIE Leadership Urges Bill Funding
September 22, 2009

With the U.S. Congress back on Capitol Hill after its summer recess, leaders of the International Society for Optics and Photonics (SPIE) are strongly urging the House and Senate to pass a bill continuing the Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs.

Currently the program funding is set to expire at the end of September. Different versions of a reauthorization bill passed the House and Senate in July — HR2965 and S1233, respectively — and now await resolve.

In 2008, the House and the Senate opted to extend SBIR for one year when they could not resolve their disagreements on conditions for a longer extension. After the bills passed this summer, a continuing resolution extended funding through September 30th.

The SBIR program, created in 1982, allocates 2.5% of 11 federal agencies’ R&D budgets to fund R&D projects by small businesses. The program now makes awards of approximately $2 billion annually.

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