Today our Committee will consider H.R. 1425, the Creating Jobs Through Small Business Innovation Act of 2011. This bill was introduced on April 7th and was marked up by the Technology and Innovation Subcommittee on April 13th.
H.R. 1425 authorizes the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs through fiscal year 2014.
These programs play a vital role in expanding innovation, and increasing the role of small businesses in federal research and development. Innovations developed through SBIR and STTR grants have in some cases led to rapid expansion, resulting in many new jobs for our nation. I am sure that most of you are familiar with companies like Qualcomm and Sonicare. These companies are no longer small, but at one point in time, they were tiny, and they started to grow thanks in part to the SBIR program.
The legislation before us is a comprehensive reauthorization of both programs. The bill would increase award amounts in both the SBIR and STTR programs for Phase I and Phase II to $150,000 and $1 million, respectively; enable small businesses that are majority venture capital backed to compete for a limited percentage of SBIR awards; and continue to emphasize the importance of commercializing technologies.
For the first time, the bill would provide agencies flexibility to use up to three percent of their program funds toward activities related to outreach, technical assistance, commercialization, program oversight and quality control.
The legislation before us today would also strengthen SBIR and STTR data collection requirements and evaluation measurement criteria. This would improve our ability to conduct effective evaluations of the programs, and ensure that we are getting the greatest return on our taxpayer investment. I believe Chairman Broun may also submit an amendment today to improve the detection of waste, fraud, and abuse in these programs, and I commend him for working to include these provisions.
I would like to thank Chairman Quayle for his leadership on this legislation and for shepherding it through the subcommittee.
I would also like to recognize Ranking Members Johnson and Wu for being original cosponsors of this legislation.
I strongly urge my colleagues to support H.R. 1425, and I now recognize the gentlelady from Texas for an opening statement.