A change in the stimulus law exempted the National Institutes of Health (NIH) from allotting a portion of its $10 billion budget to the Small Business Innovation Research program (SBIR), which offers Biotechnology start-up companies to conduct research on new drugs, medical devices and other treatments, according to the Washington Post. NIH targets 2.8% of its grants each year for small businesses.
Small biotech companies argue that the exemption will make tougher time to them for securing funds that could help them develop new products and to survive the recession.
SBIR is a highly competitive program that encourages small business to explore their technological potential and provides the incentive to profit from its commercialization. By including qualified small businesses in the nation’s R&D arena, high-tech innovation is stimulated and the US gains entrepreneurial spirit as it meets its specific research and development needs.
Competitive Opportunity for Small Business:
SBIR targets the entrepreneurial sector because that is where most innovation and innovators thrive. However, the risk and expense of conducting serious R&D efforts are often beyond the means of many small businesses. By reserving a specific percentage of federal R&D funds for small business, SBIR protects the small business and enables it to compete on the same level as larger businesses. SBIR funds the critical startup and development stages and it encourages the commercialization of the technology, product, or service, which, in turn, stimulates the US economy.