WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV), a member of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, announced her co-sponsorship of the FAST Fix Act, bipartisan legislation to improve underserved states’ ability to successfully compete for Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) awards.
“Nevada small businesses are the engine of our economy and particularly during this period of economic uncertainty, we must do more to help small businesses access SBIR and STTR award opportunities,” said Senator Rosen. “I’m proud to support this important piece of bipartisan legislation that will open the door for more funding opportunities to Nevada’s hard-to-reach communities to support innovation and job growth. I will continue working in Congress to strengthen economic development in underserved areas of the Silver State.”
BACKGROUND: The FAST Fix Act will reform the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Federal and State Technology (FAST) Partnership Program to encourage federal research and development grants to be awarded to small businesses and universities in states that have historically lacked SBIR and STTR awards. If enacted, this bill would encourage more awards to commercialize ideas, compete in the global marketplace, and create local jobs.
The FAST Fix Act would increase competition for FAST grants in each state and give priority to applicants located in historically underperforming states, including Nevada, to promote more SBIR/STTR award opportunities by providing outreach, technical assistance, and financial support.
The FAST Partnership Program provides one-year funding to organizations to develop SBIR/STTR outreach and training programs to help facilitate more awards in their state. Special consideration is intended for entities in states that have historically lacked awards. However, under the one-size-fits-all application process, all applicants are equally considered for the FAST program regardless of SBIR/STTR award history. As a result, the program is not penetrating the very states it’s intended to serve.