November 30, 2011

Whitehouse Applauds Senate Action to Extend Federal Job Growth Program

SBIR and STTR Programs Have Helped Hundreds of RI Businesses

Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) released the statement below today regarding the approval by the U.S. Senate of legislation to extend the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs:

“In this tough economy, it’s important to give our small businesses the support they need to grow and create jobs. These programs have helped keep our state and our country at the forefront of worldwide research and development efforts since they were first established under President Reagan, and I’m glad we were able to take action this week to ensure they can continue to help our economy.”

The SBIR program awards research and development grants to small businesses throughout the country. Since 1983, Rhode Island businesses have received 277 SBIR and STTR awards totaling more than $98 million.

The Senate approved an extension last night as an amendment to a Defense authorization measure. The extension reauthorizes the two programs for eight years. The larger Defense authorization measure is expected to pass the Senate soon.

Earlier this year, Senator Whitehouse advocated for an extension of these programs during a visit to EpiVax, a Providence biotech firm which has received $4.7 million in funding from the SBIR program and has grown from 5 to 22 employees in the past 5 years. Whitehouse also submitted remarks to the Congressional Record in May highlighting the importance of the programs.


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