WASHINGTON – Today, the House Committee on Small Business Subcommittee on Innovation and Workforce Development heard from small business owners about the benefits of the SBA’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR), Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR), and Growth Accelerator Fund Competition programs.
“The SBIR and STTR programs bridge the gap between the fantastical and the practical; building our economy and improving the function of the federal government in the process… The SBA’s Growth Accelerator Fund Competition was designed to support small business job creation by giving early-stage entrepreneurs opportunities to immerse themselves in intense learning,” said Ranking Member Troy Balderson (R-OH). “Taken together, these programs aim to increase the number of small businesses in the high-tech segment of our economy, as well as raise their presence in federal research and development efforts. That’s a win-win for both the private and public sectors by creating jobs, growing companies, and providing solutions to complex problems.”
Witnesses Stress Job Creation and Consumer Tech Benefits of Programs
“Over the last 20 years, there have been nearly 2 dozen studies on the effectiveness of the [SBIR] program… Per a National Cancer Institute study, the investment in the Phase I and II Program over the appropriate period generated more than 3 times that in additional tax revenue, 10 times that in additional revenue for those companies and over 100,00 new jobs,” said Mr. Ron Shroder, CEO and President, Frontier Technology, Inc., in Beavercreek, OH. “The first [improvement to the SBIR program] would be to go ahead and make the program permanent. Thirty-seven years of successful economic and job growth shows it is a program that should continue.”
“Recently, Dr. Will Roper, Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics, initiated a new SBIR process modeled after commercial investment pitch competitions to deliver a faster, smarter approach to compete for ideas that can solve near-term DoD problems through the accelerating technology ecosystem,” said Ms. Alison Brown, President and CEO, Navsys Corporation, in Colorado Springs, CO. Ms. Brown testified on behalf of the Small Business Technology Council. “The SBIR program provides the mechanism to bring innovative companies into the DoD ecosystem. Dr. Roper has said that the next challenge for the Air Force is to organize to do this type of activity at scale.”
“By connecting the right people with the right opportunities, these… inventions can be used to improve our lives in ways that we’ve never imagined before. The SBIR program was created to do just that,” said Mr. Rohit Shukla, CEO, Larta Institute, in Los Angeles, CA.
“The government’s role investing in the building blocks of innovation, empowering innovators, setting the stage for high quality job creation, catalyzing discoveries to support national priorities and clearing a path for anyone with talent to access opportunity can’t be understated,” said Mr. Javier Saade, Managing Partner & Venture Partner, Impact Master Holdings & Fenway Summer Ventures, in Jackson, WY. “…[T]he Growth Accelerator Fund Competition (GAFC) plays a small but important part in our country’s [innovation] ecosystem.”