How Should Government Spur Small-Business Innovation? by Robb Mendelbaum
With health care reform and economic recovery sucking up so much of what little oxygen circulates in Washington, you’ll have to forgive The Agenda for only now turning to the Small Business Innovation Research program, which is set to expire on July 31 unless Congress acts to reauthorize it.
Last week, the Senate did its part, but its version of S.B.I.R. reauthorization is much different from the one the House passed on July 8. Now Congress faces the difficult task of reconciling two visions of how the government should harness the power of small firms to innovate, and the competing interests are choosing sides. The bills pit companies with venture funding against those without it — and research institutions against them both.