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Congresswoman Hirono Votes to Support Small Business Research and Innovation

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Congresswoman Hirono Votes to Support Small Business Research and Innovation

Congresswoman Mazie K. Hirono yesterday voted with an overwhelming bipartisan majority (386-41) to pass the Enhancing Small Business Research and Innovation Act, H.R. 2965. The bill updates and expands two grant programs: the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and the Small Business Technology Transfer (SBTT) grant programs.

"This bill will provide more resources, more flexibility, and more opportunities to small businesses and entrepreneurs in Hawai‘i that are developing groundbreaking, world-class technological innovations," said Congresswoman Hirono. "I recently met with a group of entrepreneurs in Hawai‘i representing a broad spectrum of industries and was impressed by their enthusiasm and initiative. This bill will help business leaders like these expand their efforts and grow our island economy."

Highlights of the Enhancing Small Business Research and Innovation Act include:

Increases the maximum for federal grants to small businesses for the initial stage of research and technology transfer projects from $100,000 to $250,000.
Increases the maximum grant for the second stage of such projects from $750,000 to $2 million.
Authorizes $27.5 million for commercialization programs.
Permits small businesses with investment from venture capital companies to participate in the two programs, with some limited exceptions.
Promotes the streamlining of the grant award process to better a small company's likelihood of continuing its research and development.

"This bill expands rare-disease and energy-related research as well as boosts the development of nanotechnology," said Congresswoman Hirono. "We have numerous companies in Hawai‘i that are heavily engaged in all of these fields. This bill should help them compete on a national level."

H.R. 2965 now goes before the U.S. Senate for consideration.

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