Tag Archives: government contracts

SBIR Reauthorization Agreement Finally Reached by Congressional Committees

The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program has been reauthorized for six years.  The program had been hanging on through several short term continuing resolutions.  The Senate and the House Armed Services Committees announced that they have agreed on a long-term reauthorization of the SBIR program during conference negotiations on the Fiscal Year 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).  President Obama is prepared to sign the bill when it reaches his desk.

Award amounts will be increased.  Small businesses will face less uncertainty because the reauthorization requires most agencies to complete their review process for applicants within 90 days.

Funding increases from 2.5% to 3.2% of each agency’s extramural research budget for the SBIR program and from 0.3% to 0.45% over the course of reauthorization for the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program. Contract amounts are increased from $100,000 to $150,000 for Phase I awards and from $750,000 to $1 million for Phase II awards.  Performance-based standards are introduced to encourage companies to focus on commercialization through Phase III.

A compromise has been reached which allows venture backed companies to participate in 25% of awards for NIH, DOE, and NSF and 15% of awards for other federal agencies.

A number of our high tech and life sciences clients have been able to launch new product lines through SBIR grants.  The reauthorization should maintain the vitality of the program.


Faster Payment for Small Prime Contractors Under New White House Policy

The White House has announced a new policy to improve the business climate for contractors that are small businesses. Agency heads are directed to begin paying invoices of prime contractors that are small businesses within 15 days. 

An Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Memo of September 14, 2011 informs heads of government agencies that accelerated payment is necessary to provide small businesses with a more predictable stream of resources. This will work to preserve and increase small business participation in Federal contracting, benefitting both the Federal agencies and taxpayers.

Agencies must inform OMB by November 1, 2011 of their implementation schedules. Asking when the respective agency will begin accelerating payment may be a diplomatic way to make sure your contracting officer is aware of the new policy.