The linkurl:House Committee on Small Business; is calling on legislators to overhaul the federal Small Business Innovation Research linkurl:(SBIR); program, which awarded more than $2 billion last year to biotech and other start-ups with promising and salable ideas or technologies. The committee is crafting legislation to reauthorize the SBIR program, which is managed by the US Small Business Administration (SBA) and is due to sunset at the end of September. The SBIR program - which was created in 1982 and to date has awarded more than $12 billion in grants for early-stage research at small businesses - is successful, Edsel Brown, assistant director of SBA's Office of Technology, told __The Scientist__. But the program does need some improvements, Brown said. "We really do need to look at [the SBIR program] and make it as good as it can be and fine tune it." Eleven federal agencies, including Health and Human...

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