The U.S. House of Representatives today approved a bipartisan bill introduced by Reps. Steve Knight, R-Calif., and Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., to help more small businesses gain access to federal funds for the research and development of new products. The House approved the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer Improvements Act of 2017, H.R. 2763, in a unanimous vote.
“As someone who advised startups in the private sector, I know entrepreneurs need capital to get their ideas off the ground. Congress should do everything possible to support job creators who spur growth and innovation in our economy. My bill will help small high-tech businesses in central Florida and across the country develop cutting-edge products that both grow the economy and advance our national security interests,” said Murphy.
The Knight-Murphy bill makes improvements to the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program and the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program, which are coordinated by the Small Business Administration. Under these programs, certain federal agencies—like the Department of Defense, the Department of Energy, the Department of Health and Human Services, and NASA—make awards to small, technologically-advanced businesses. Small businesses then use this funding to research and develop products that support important national priorities and can be sold on the commercial market. This bipartisan bill seeks to streamline the process for small businesses that receive these awards, which will help them bring their products to market and achieve commercial success.
“I applaud Congresswoman Murphy for her hard work on behalf of America’s entrepreneurs," said Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez, D-N.Y., the Ranking Member of the House Small Business Committee. "SBIR companies have been involved in everything from developing brain mapping technology to engineering drones used in our national defense. This bill will strengthen the SBIR program, and put countless more small firms on the map by providing a path to commercialization.”
Since 2016, SBIR and STTR have provided $61 million to small businesses in Florida, including nearly $15 million for businesses in central Florida.
Murphy also authored an amendment to the bill that was accepted unanimously when the legislation was approved by the House Small Business Committee in June. The amendment requires participating federal agencies to take additional steps to educate small business owners and entrepreneurs about these programs and to encourage them to apply for funding.
Murphy has now authored or co-authored eight bills or amendments that have passed the U.S. House of Representatives since she assumed office less than nine months ago. She delivered remarks on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives during the debate leading up to the bill’s final vote. To read her remarks, click here.