After linkurl:clearing; the House of Representatives in April, a bill meant to extend the life of programs that stimulate innovation at linkurl:small biotech companies; has finally found its way onto the floor of the Senate. The Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship linkurl:passed the bill,; which tacks on 14 years to the lifespans of both the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and the Small Business Technology Transfer Research (STTR) programs, yesterday (July 30). Both programs, which aim to encourage the development and commercialization of products and technologies by small businesses, were due to sunset this September. The SBIR program granted more than $2 billion to start-ups last year. The bone of contention in the bill has been a clause stating that businesses where greater than 50 percent of stock is held by venture capital investors are still eligible for SBIR awards. The linkurl:Small Business Administration,; which manages the programs...

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