HEADLINE: HEARING OF THE TACTICAL AIR AND LAND FORCES SUBCOMMITTEE OF THE HOUSE ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE
SUBJECT: SMALL BUSINESS INNOVATION AND TECHNOLOGY
CHAIRED BY: REPRESENTATIVE CURT WELDON (R-PA)
WITNESSES PANEL I:
NICK KARANGELEN, PRESIDENT AND CEO, TRIDENT SYSTEMS, INC.;
HEIDI JACOBUS, CHAIRMAN AND CEO, CYBERNET SYSTEMS CORPORATION; BILL BRODERICK, CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER, ANALYTICAL GRAPHICS, INC.;
ANTHONY MULLIGAN, PRESIDENT, ADVANCED CERAMICS RESEARCH;
ENRIQUE ENRIQUEZ, PRESIDENT, LOCUST USA, INC.;
TOM CUDA, VICE PRESIDENT OF OPERATIONS, VISTA CONTROLS, INC.;
RICHARD HOLLIS, PRESIDENT AND CEO, HOLLIS-EDEN PHARMACEUTICALS;
GREG PETERSON, CHAIRMAN AND CEO, SECURIMETRICS, INC.;
DR. ALEXANDER STOYEN, CEO, 21ST CENTURY SYSTEMS, INC.
LOCATION: 2118 RAYBURN HOUSE OFFICE BUILDING, WASHINGTON, D.C.
REP. CURT WELDON (R-PA): The hearing will come to order. This morning, the Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee will receive testimony from a series of small, innovative U.S. companies that are developing leading edge technologies and proposing military applications of those technologies that address a variety of defense modernization needs. The work of these companies will demonstrate to members of the subcommittee and the American people that small businesses are capable of producing vital defense products rapidly at potentially lower cost and, in some cases, providing new capabilities.
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REP. JIM COOPER (D-TN): Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I appreciate you holding this hearing because it is a very important topic. We need to be doing all that we can to help small business and to help create jobs in this country. I hadn't realized it prior to this hearing. But a long-time friend of mine, Bob Pap is in the audience, who leads Accurate Automation in Chattanooga, Tennessee and he pointed out to me that there's some three companies in Tennessee. Bob, if you would stand and be recognized. There are three Tennessee companies that have been unfairly disadvantaged by the current process. So we're very interested in curing that.
Bob and his wife, Reba, have run a great company for many years now. It's been the recipient of numerous SBIR grants. It's got remarkable state-of-the-art technology and they were $31 million cheaper than any other bidder in the recent process and yet still were not able to get the contract. So we want to make sure that it's a level playing field, that small businesses are fairly treated. We are not asking for any special treatment here but just so that all businesses in America gets a fair shake. That's what we're interested in. Bob brought a statement. I would like to ask unanimous consent that it be inserted in the record.
REP. WELDON: Without objection.
REP. COOPER: And we look forward to working with all the companies who are here today to get a fair deal from the Pentagon.
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REP. COOPER: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. The technologies are truly fascinating. It's amazing what individual genius can come up with in a small business context.
I would like to broaden my colleague Mr. Abercrombie's question and help us understand what bureaucratic barriers we need to knock down, whether it's in the Pentagon or other federal agencies. Because on the one hand the government has done well with the SBIR program to encourage innovation but it seems like it's hard to get some of this technology commercialized. So if you could just help us in specific terms understand what barriers you've run up against that we could knock down, we'd love to try to help you knock them down.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
REP. ABERCROMBIE: Would the gentleman yield?
REP. COOPER: I'd be delighted.