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Senators call for coordinated small business research

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Senators Edward Markey (D-Mass.), Jim Risch (R-Idaho) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) advocated for increased small business-led research related to the coronavirus pandemic and response.

The senators wrote to the 11 federal agencies that participate in the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs and called on them to coordinate their efforts and focus research on addressing the coronavirus response where applicable.

The SBIR program was designed to provide instrumental funding to “infant” industry research and development where obtaining private capital is not yet an option. In their letter, the Senators call on the agencies to put the more than $3 billion in research funding at their disposal towards the fight against the coronavirus.

“Although larger industry will play a vital role in these efforts, small businesses are ready, willing and more than able to support this response with their own novel ideas and research,” wrote the senators. “The SBIR/STTR programs are some of America’s most successful tool at fostering cutting-edge research. Through these programs, we can harness the power of innovation against this pandemic by enlisting small business in the fight.”

A copy of the letters can be found at www.markey.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/SBIR%20STTR%20COVID%20agency%20letter.pdf

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