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S. 2136 (114th): Improving Small Business Innovative Research and Technologies Act of 2015

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Dec 3, 2015.

Improving Small Business Innovative Research and Technologies Act of 2015

(Sec. 2) This bill amends the Small Business Act to extend through FY2017 the requirement that the Small Business Administration (SBA) allow each federal agency required to conduct a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program to use up to 3% of allocated SBIR funds for the administration of its SBIR or Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Program as well as other specified administrative, oversight, and contract processing costs.

The SBA shall establish the Regional SBIR State Collaborative Initiative Pilot Program to provide one-year renewable awards of up to $300,000 to a regional collaborative, consisting of a research institution or a small business located in at least three eligible states, to address the needs of small businesses in order to: (1) be more competitive in the proposal and selection process for SBIR and STTR Program awards, and (2) increase technology transfer and commercialization.

An eligible state is one:

in the bottom half of states, based on the average number of annual SBIR program awards made to companies in the state for the preceding three years for which the SBA has applicable data, and participating in the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) of the National Science Foundation, as established by the National Science Foundation Authorization Act of 1988. Each eligible EPSCoR state in a regional collaborative shall designate one eligible entity located in the state to serve as its lead eligible entity. Each regional collaborative to designate a coordinator from amongst the eligible entities in the collaborative, who shall serve as the interface between the regional collaborative and the SBA with respect to measuring cross-state collaboration and program effectiveness and documenting best practices.

Each regional collaborative with an award under the pilot program may use its award funds to perform specified services applicants for SBIR or STTR awards, including training and technical assistance.

Each federal agency required to conduct an SBIR Program must provide to the SBA 15% of its allocated SBIR funds set aside for administrative purposes:

for the Pilot Program, for the Federal and State Technology Partnership (FAST) Program, and to support the SBA Office that administers the SBIR and the STTR Programs. This bill provides funding for the Pilot Program through FY2017.

(Sec. 3) The bill also reauthorizes the FAST Program, including Mentoring Networks and the mentoring database, through FY2017.