“Passing this important bill gives our nation’s innovative small businesses and research institutions the certainty they need to continue developing the technology that will power the economy of tomorrow," said Senator Ben Cardin (D-Maryland).
It also codifies the requirement of agencies part of the program to assess "potential risk posed by program applicants' foreign ties." This means that firms looking to apply and receive SBIR/STTR contract awards must disclose ties to foreign countries.
SBIR helps small research and innovation firms get a jumpstart, with competitive R&D contracts awarded throughout the year. Some of the companies that first started out with the program include Qualcomm, Symantec, and Biogen. These award grants are integral for technology innovation to move forward and progress in the country.
The program has been criticized for what some call "abuse." While it was supposed to expire at the end of September, lawmakers put in quite the effort to completely rewrite legislation surrounding the program.