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Managing the Nation’s Cancer Research Portfolio

Small Business Innovation Research, Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR, STTR)

Catalyzing the translation of cancer research into technologies and products for the benefit of patients involves the collaboration and engagement of both public and private sectors. Small businesses are an important part of the cancer research enterprise.  Small businesses are not only vital to the U.S. economy, providing jobs for over half of the nation's private workforce, but they are also key drivers in cancer research. Congress created, and recently expanded, the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Programs to strengthen the role of small businesses in fostering research and development (R&D) and to facilitate the commercialization of technologies across a range of industry sectors.  

Each year, federal agencies with extramural research and development (R&D) budgets of more than $100 million are required to set aside 2.95 percent of their R&D budgets for SBIR/STTR contracts or grants to small businesses. The SBIR & STTR Reauthorization Act of 2011 will increase the set-aside amounts to 3.65 percent by 2017, and expand eligibility to include small businesses majority-owned by venture capital operating companies, hedge funds, or private equity funds in 2013.