Only three months to go. Time to get serious. The House has begun the process. With any luck our legislators will actually pay attention to the issues, learn the truth, and improve the SBIR Program. We’ve got a tough battle facing us to overcome the lies being told and perception management techniques being used against us.
I actually had an Austin Business Journal reporter call me yesterday and ask me what I thought about the fact that “venture capital participating small businesses would have to leave their drug discovery innovations on the shelf because they couldn’t qualify for SBIR awards any more”.
Oh, Good Grief! She said she got the premise for the story from a Washington DC sister publication. Perception management strikes again. Boy did I give her an earful of the truth. Can’t wait to see what she actually writes in the story she said would be published today.
The VC issue dominates the SBIR reauthorization landscape. It’s important, yes. But it’s not the only issue. In a series of upcoming columns I’m going to highlight each of the issues, and shed some light on what’s important about them. Hopefully it will spur some comments and engage some debate.
Here’s the list of SBIR Reauthorization issues:
1. Eligibility (who may compete for awards)
2. Agency Allocation Base (% of R&D set-aside)
3. Award Caps for Phase I and II
4. Phase I bypassing – should it be permitted?
5. Multiple Phase II awards
6. Phase III funding and required support
7. State (FAST) and Rural Outreach support
8. Funding for SBIR/STTR administration costs
9. Streamlining the process of review and award
10. Special technology priority mandates
11. How long until we reauthorize again?
Some are more contentious than others, but all are important. We’ll discuss them one by one over the next few weeks.
I can see from this Blog’s analytics that we’re being monitored by those in Congress who really want to know what all sides think, so if you have an opinion here’s your chance to be heard. I’ll publish a comment that intelligently approaches an issue, whether or not I agree with it.
Rick Shindell published an issue of his SBIR Insider last evening. Lots of good info about what went on in those House hearings last week, including a video of Jere Glover’s testimony.
And, Rich Hendel sent out Boeing’s NSF SBIR topic interest list a few days ago. I expect to see the DOD 2009.2 interest list any day now. Write me if you’d like a copy of either of these.
Remember to keep up with what’s going on at www.SBIRreauthorization.com
Finally, today’s my lovely wife Kay’s birthday, and I’m taking the rest of the day off to pay some attention to her, including dinner out and some Country/Western dancing this evening at Billy Bob’s. She’s so patient with all of my SBIR travails, I just wanted to recognize her and have y’all join me in wishing her a Happy Birthday!