The House Committee on Small Business March 23 approved with bipartisan support a bill that would further expand the set aside for the federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program.
Under SBIR, a percentage of the extramural research budget for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other science agencies is reserved for small business and removed from broader competition by academic institutions or other organizations. For NIH, the current level of the SBIR set aside is three percent. Under the Commercializing on Small Business Innovation Act of 2016 (HR 4783), the set aside would increase from 3.2 percent in fiscal year (FY) 2017 to 4.5 percent in FY 2022.
The bill would also increase the set aside for the companion Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program from 0.45 percent in 2017 to 0.6 percent in 2022.
The AAMC is working with other organizations to oppose the proposed increase, in favor of competitively awarding extramural funds across more research organizations.