NIH challenge grant

Time to renew the SBIR law and the fight is on again.

The following information is courtesy of Rick Shindell
at SBIR Gateway, we post this excerpt to here to help more people who may be concerned to become aware of the situation.

The four House bills were marked up and approved on June 11, 2009 by the House Small Business Committee’s Subcommittee on Contracting and Technology and should go to the full SBC committee next week. The Senate bill is scheduled for markup June 18, 2009.

SENATE SBIR/STTR REAUTHORIZATION BILL S.1233 The Senate’s SBIR reauthorization bill was introduced June 10, 2009 and sponsored by SBE committee chair, Mary Landrieu (D-LA), and ranking member Olympia Snowe (R-ME).

At the time of this writing the bill was not yet available from the government printing office, so we can’t give you a link to it. We can provide you with an overview. It is close to but not exactly the same as last year.

Important points include:
* Extension of termination dates – 2023 (14 years)
* Improvements to strengthening the SBA Office of Technology
* Increase SBIR allocation by 0.1% per year (starting in FY-2011) until reaching 3.5% in FY-2020
* Increase STTR allocation to .4% for FY-2011; .5% for FY-2013; 0.6% for FY-2015
* Increase SBIR/STTR award levels to $150k phase I and $1M for phase II
* Awards shall not exceed 50% above recommended award levels
* Elimination of Phase II “invitation” process (i.e., DoD)
* VC small biz eligibility compromise limited to 18% of NIH SBIR Award funding, 8% at the other 10 agencies
* Allow small business to partner with federal labs or FFRDC without requiring a wavier from SBA
* Reinstate State and Rural outreach programs
* SBIR STEM Workforce Development Grant Pilot Program
* Continuation of Commercialization Pilot Program (DoD)
* Establish Commercialization Pilot Program for civilian agencies
* Nanotechnology Initiative
* Accelerating Cures – NIH Pilot
* Accuracy In Funding Base Calculations (keep em honest in the 2.5% extramural calculations)
* Increase in technical assistance from $4k to $5k
* SBIR and STTR Special Acquisition Preference

It is highly recommended that if you like the basis of this bill, contact your Senators and ask them to cosponsor this legislation, (S.1233 – A bill to reauthorize and improve the SBIR and STTR programs and for other purposes). This is very important if you want the Senate version to stand a chance on passing.

A tidbit you might have already known, the Challenge Grant through NIH’s ARRA stimulus program received 20k applications for some 200 to 400 awards.

The NIH stimulus grants do not have the SBIR obligations by a last minute change. How may all these affect Allele’s operations? We have submitted 3 grants to the NIH in the last 3 months, with total 4 now pending. It means that we sure are interested in NIH funding, which was, after all, how our company was started. On the other hand, we are also glad that we do have ongoing sales and services that link us directly to users of our technologies. In the current difficult economy and tight funding environment, we strive to be a company that supplies most essential biological research tools that could save average labs some 20-50% cost per item compared to buying from companies like Life Technologies and Clontech, etc. At the same time, we want to provide the convenience to our customers by covering a sufficient number of common reagent areas, a value small specialty companies normally do not offer. See our next blog for more comments on being a flexible and able provider of everything essential.

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