SENATE PASSES SBIR EXTENSION (CR) BILL
The Senate has passed a bill to extend the SBIR/STTR and some other SBA programs through July 31, 2010. (This does not affect the DoD's SBIR/STTR program that is good through September 30, 2010.)
This 3 month extender, S. 3253 was led by Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Chair of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, and ranking member Olympia Snowe (R-ME).
Most of you that follow the SBIR Insider know that the Senate wanted a longer leash, perhaps as long as a one year extension, but true to form and typical of the House Small Minded (oops) I meant House Small Business Committee, three months was the maximum Nydia Velazquez (D-NY) was willing to give.
This now marks the 7th in a series of short term CRs since 2008 to extend the SBIR/STTR program.
THE ALTMIRE QUAGMIRE PART III
Oh yes, he's at it again (for the 3rd time). Our favorite lobbyist turned … lobbyist… ehh congressman, Jason Altmire (D-PA) sent out another of his "Dear Colleague letters (see http://www.zyn.com/sbir/insider/sb-insider03-01-10.htm ) wanting the House to insert his radical SBIR reauthorization bill into one of the upcoming "jobs" bills.
Oh yes, I forgot to tell you that his most recent letter (unlike his first) called for a compromise between the House and Senate SBIR bills. There's only one small problem, as of this writing, he has still not attempted to pursue any talks on compromise with the Senate, in spite of the fact that the Senate made an amazing compromise to the House, way back in October!
Still included in that Altmire Quagmire is a list of supporters for his bill, not one of which is a small business, and most are universities.
In the Altmire Quagmire we also see a "minor" omission of fact that the new Health Care legislation provides an additional $500M for the NIH Cures Acceleration Network, whose board, under statutory mandate must include at least 4 venture capitalists. Add to this the $1B Therapeutic Investor Tax Credit, targeted to the VCs, and there is a potential bonanza to the Wall Street VC crowd of up to $1.5B!! (Thanks to Jonathan Cohen of 20/20 Gene Systems, Inc for this info).
In spite of all of this, Altmire, Velazquez, Graves, and their Wall Street BIO and NVCA lobbyists still want to take the lion's share of the SBIR program.
SBA FAST SOLICITATION QUESTION
This article is for state organizations that are submitting FAST proposals to the SBA. This is not official, is not from the SBA, but should be considered to be an "informed" observation for you.
What could be stated as an "inconsistency" with prior years of FAST solicitations, this year's FAST 2010 states on the checklist on page 21 under Technical Proposal:
"The Technical Proposal should be prepared in double spaced format.."
Although previous FAST solicitations allowed single spaced proposals, this one (as of 4/23/10) does not. The SBA is within its rights to make this specification, and offerors not adhering will be rejected.
This creates an additional challenge for the offeror to stay within the page limit while providing the agency with a clear plan of execution and implementation.
However, the agency can at its discretion, offer a modification to the solicitation if it feels the double spaced limitation was in error or perhaps inappropriate. As of this time, at the Hartford State Agency Meeting, the SBA has not suggested an intent to issue a modification.
Since this is a merit based competition, the SBIR Insider suggests offerors closely follow the guidelines, and in addition to presenting your plans and ideas, demonstrate your ability to write a dynamite proposal.
I'm out of time and energy, but in the next issue I want to bring you up to date on the unique, excellent and important SBIR meeting hosted by Dr. Charles Wessner and the National Academies. We'll also include coverage of the Hartford National SBIR Conference, where Deb Santy and her group put on another great SBIR event.
Thanks again for your time and we welcome your comments.
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