Small Business Development Act of 1982, Pub. L. No. 97-219 (1982).
The Act established Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) programs within the major federal R&D agencies designed to increase participation of small, innovative companies in federally-funded research and development. Extended several times, the program requires that a set percentage of each agency’s applicable extramural R&D budget — originally 1.23%, now 2.5% — is to be used to support mission-related work in small companies. Funding is, in part, dependent on companies obtaining private sector support for the commercialization of the resulting products or processes.
The authorization for the program terminated on September 30, 2008, but has been temporarily extended five times and is now operating through April 30, 2010. In 1992, a pilot effort, the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program, was created to encourage firms to work with universities or federal laboratories to commercialize the results of research. Initially funded by a 0.15% (phased in) set-aside, the STTR program has been reauthorized several times and the set-aside raised to 0.3% in FY2004. This program sunset at the end of FY2009, but has been temporarily extended through April 30, 2010.