Friday, December 18, 2009

SBIR still hanging -- Obama promises big small business push in January

Our Congress, being consumed with forcing through a Health Care bill that most of us don't want, is ignoring most everything else. As predicted, Omnibus Appropriations bills were rushed through this week, but SBIR reauthorization was not included among them. So it'll be January before any more attention is paid to us.

The SBA did get $2 million appropriated for the Federal and State Technology Partnership (FAST) program for State SBIR outreach funding. This hopefully assumes there will be something to reach out for! Unfortunately that money won't go very far. FAST awards have been in the $100K-$150K range. Do the math. But, it's better than nothing I guess -- which is what we had for this the past couple of years.

So, not much to report, and not much to advise y'all to do. We're just hanging. If you get a chance to talk to a legislator (or an aide) during the Christmas recess, do it! They might actually be relieved you're NOT talking about health care.

We do have word from the White House that President Obama will turn his attention to Small Business issues as soon as Health Care is done. We say -- the sooner the better! Perhaps we can get some REAL attention to SBIR and other small business concerns for a change. This lip service we've been getting just isn't cutting it. Frankly, we'll believe it when we see it.

A quick word of memoriam: We were sad to hear of the passing of a real friend to SBIR -- Jim Chern of NASA. He led the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center's SBIR/STTR Program and was a frequent speaker at SBIR Conferences. He passed quietly in his sleep while attending the West Virginia SBIR Conference earlier this month. He will be missed.

Boeing did send out its SBIR interest list for the DOD Solicitation 2010.1. Write me if you'd like a copy. And today (Dec 18th) is the last day to pull down copies of the presentations from the Reno SBIR Conference from their website. If you missed doing it and would like a copy of any of the presentations, I've got them all, so write me for that too.

Unless there's something important to relate, I'll take a hiatus from these columns for a bit, and be back in early January with my Annual Predictions. Merry Christmas, Happy Channukah, etc. etc.

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