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SPIE Applauds Congress for Six-Year SBIR Reauthorization

Photonics.com
Dec 2011
BELLINGHAM, Wash., Dec. 28, 2011 — SPIE is pleased with the recent six-year reauthorization by Congress of the federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. The SBIR/STTR programs are designed to spur technology innovation within the small-business R&D community.

Legislation to reauthorize the program will be included as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which sets the annual budget for the Department of Defense. The bill was presented to President Barack Obama on Dec. 21 but has not been signed into law.

“SPIE is pleased that Congress has reached this compromise,” said Robert Lieberman, chair of the SPIE committee on engineering, science and technology policy. “Many of our 180,000-person constituency work in small companies engaged in the high-technology business of photonics, and will greatly benefit from the stabilization and expansion of this program. The industry as a whole and the world economy will benefit as well.”

Lieberman said that the six-year extension will provide needed stability for companies wanting to participate.

“SBIR-initiated projects create photonics jobs and products for applications ranging from defense and security to biomedical diagnostics,” Lieberman said. “Participating companies partner with other industry and academia in developing innovations that improve quality of life everywhere.”

Key points of the agreement include reauthorization for six years; greater participation among small businesses with significant private capital support, increasing venture capital participation for the National Institutes of Health, Department of Energy, National Science Foundation and other participating federal agencies; increased award levels, which have not been raised since 1982; increased allocations to allow more small businesses to compete for R&D funds; greater coordination between the Small Business Administration and participating agencies to combat waste, fraud and abuse within the SBIR/STTR programs; and the establishment of new performance-based standards to encourage companies to focus on commercialization.

SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, was founded in 1955 to advance light-based technologies. Serving more than 180,000 constituents from 168 countries, the society annually organizes and sponsors approximately 25 major technical forums, exhibitions, and education programs in North America, Europe, Asia and the South Pacific.

For more information, visit: www.spie.org  


GLOSSARY
photonics
The technology of generating and harnessing light and other forms of radiant energy whose quantum unit is the photon. The science includes light emission, transmission, deflection, amplification and detection by optical components and instruments, lasers and other light sources, fiber optics, electro-optical instrumentation, related hardware and electronics, and sophisticated systems. The range of applications of photonics extends from energy generation to detection to communications and...
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