Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants are critical for supporting small biotech companies with promising science to continue critical research and development of treatments and cures for debilitating and life threatening diseases such as HIV/AIDS, cancer, Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson’s.
BIO strongly supports passage of the SBIR/STTR Reauthorization Act of 2011  (S. 493) and the Creating Jobs Through Small Business Innovation Act of 2011  (H.R. 1425) as the SBIR program is critical for supporting small companies with promising scientific innovation to continue critical R&D of medical advancements and breakthroughs.
The ability of the SBIR program to provide critical funding for projects with the most potential to benefit the public, will remain hampered, unless SBIR reauthorization updates the program to address the current realities facing these struggling companies.
The program should allow small companies that are majority-owned by venture capital companies to once again compete for SBIR grants based on the merit of their ideas. Allowing small biotech companies that are majority owned by venture capital companies to once again compete for SBIR awards based on scientific merit will ensure the most competitive pool of applicants and that grants awarded will be based on projects that show the most promise in bringing breakthrough therapies to the public.
Why should SBIR be updated and reauthorized? Five reasons:
The importance of advancing science has never been more important than it is right now as companies are struggling to recover from the economic crisis, and accelerate growth, hiring and research. Reauthorizing SBIR will help struggling biotech companies continue to development novel therapies, and ultimately deliver cures and treatments to address the nation’s most critical public health needs.