The House on Friday passed a defense policy bill that would reauthorize two programs aimed at helping small businesses conduct research and development to make new technologies.
Both programs are operated by the Small Business Administration and would be reauthorized for five years as part of the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act, which the House passed in a 374-34 vote. The Senate is expected to send the measure to the White House next week.
The Small Business Innovation Research program provides contracts or grants to small businesses to help them conduct research and development projects, while the Small Business Technology Transfer program addresses small business concerns in federal research and development by gathering researchers from universities and federal R&D centers to work with small companies.
The legislation would authorize $2.18 billion to manage both programs in 2017.
“Making it easier for American small businesses to develop and commercialize new, innovative products is essential for both our economic and national security,” House Small Business Committee Chairman Steve Chabot (R-Ohio) said in a Friday statement. “SBIR and STTR are critical parts of this effort because their awards go to small innovators who have always been on the cutting edge of groundbreaking research and life-saving technology.”