Post-World War II era U.S. science, technology, and innovation policy has been defined by a linear approach to public investment in basic research. For many decades, this policy worked because the United States was one of the few countries with the technological capabilities to translate research into new products and services. But in today’s intensely competitive global economy where nations are fiercely competing for innovation advantage, this paradigm is no longer tenable. Robust public investments in basic research remain critical, but equally as important are investments and institutional reforms to commercialize new ideas from the laboratory into the marketplace.
To advance the debate on potential policy reforms, the House Technology Transfer Caucus, Co-Chairs Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) and Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D-NM), the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation, and Innovation Associates are convening a series of Capitol Hill briefings featuring leading experts in innovation policy.
The first of these events will examine reforms to improve the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. SBIR/STTR are critical policy tools federal agencies use to support small business R&D and innovation. While recent program reauthorizations increased the share of agency budgets set-aside for SBIR/STTR, more needs to be done to maximize the value and commercial potential stemming from these programs. This panel discussion will investigate the reforms that are needed to advance SBIR/STTR and boost commercialization through small businesses.