Small business technology and innovation bill passes House

Congressman Steve Knight shakes the hands of students as they exit a forum at College of the Canyons on Monday, March 13, 2017. Katharine Lotze/The Signal

A small business-focused bill passed through the House of Representatives on Wednesday.

In author Steve Knight’s effort to maintain fair competition between small businesses, the legislation requires the Small Business Administration to provide a report to Congress at the end of each year.

“This bill would give the opportunity for America’s small businesses to participate in the national security needs for innovation in our country,” Knight (R-Palmdale) said in a statement.

Referred to as the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer Improvements Act, Bill 2763 provides reports of programs and requires the Department of Defense to include more of small businesses’ technology.

Supporting these programs lends itself to safety and economic stability, according to Knight.

“Small businesses are essential to America’s economic competitiveness and industrial base,” Knight said. “These programs sponsor developments that allow us to compete in the international marketplace and provide innovative tools supported and created by local entrepreneurs that contribute to American security.”

The bill garnered the support of Representative Lamar Smith (R-Texas), who serves as the chairman of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee.

“The SBIR and STTR programs, through their $3 billion in annual awards to small businesses, spur many innovations and create thousands of jobs,” Smith said in a statement. “This legislation updates these crucial programs.”

Technological research for small business will be expanded through the legislation, according to House Small Business Committee Chairman Steve Chabot (R-Ohio)

“Small innovators often lead the way in high-tech research and innovation and today’s legislation improves these programs and provides certainty and clarity to thousands of small businesses,” Chabot said in a statement.

The bill will now go to the Senate for a vote.

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