The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs are set to expire on Sept. 30, 2022, after the last five-year reauthorization. Lawmakers are likely to begin the reauthorization process again sometime this year. More must be done to ensure the long-term stability and viability of these programs.
The SBIR and STTR programs fund a diverse portfolio of startups and small businesses across technology areas and markets to stimulate technological innovation, meet federal R&D needs, and increase commercialization to transition R&D into impact. The Department of Defense’s Rapid Innovation Fund (RIF) provides a collaborative vehicle for small businesses to provide the Department of Defense with innovative technologies that can be rapidly inserted into acquisition programs that meet specific defense needs. Unfortunately, in 2020 and 2021, the RIF program was not included in Congress’s annual Defense spending bill, effectively defunding the program.