[Federal Register: March 30, 2010 (Volume 75, Number 60)]
[Notices]               
[Page 15756-15757]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr30mr10-131]                         

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SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION

RIN 3244-AF61

 
Small Business Innovation Research Program Policy Directive

AGENCY: U.S. Small Business Administration.

ACTION: Notice of Final Amendments to Policy Directive.

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SUMMARY: This document announces a final amendment to the Small 
Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program Policy Directive (PD). This 
amendment adjusts the SBIR Program award threshold amounts to offset 
the effect of inflation. This document also considers the public 
comments received in response to SBA's Notice of Proposed Amendment to 
the Policy Directive, which was published in the Federal Register on 
August 15, 2008.

DATES: This amendment is effective on March 30, 2010.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Edsel M. Brown, Jr., Assistant 
Director, Office of Technology, SBA, at (202) 205-7343. You may also 
email questions to technology@sba.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On August 15, 2008, SBA published in the 
Federal Register proposed amendments to the SBIR Program PD to raise 
the SBIR Phase I award threshold amount from $100,000 to $150,000, and 
the Phase II award threshold amount from $750,000 to $1,000,000 (FR 
48004). Congress established the current award threshold amounts of 
$100,000 for Phase I and $750,000 for Phase II in the program's 1992 
reauthorization legislation. SBA has statutory authority to increase 
these award amounts to adjust for inflation or other economic or 
programmatic considerations once every five years (U.S.C. 
638(j)(2)(D)). The regulatory guideline for the SBIR award amounts can 
be found in Section 7(h)(1) of the SBIR Policy Directive (67 FR 6008, 
Sept. 24, 2002). SBA has determined that to restore the average 
economic value of the SBIR awards, the award threshold amounts should 
be increased at this time. SBA determined that adjusting the threshold 
amounts to $150,000 for Phase I and $1,000,000 for Phase II adequately 
offsets the general effects of inflation, maintains a degree of 
stability and simplicity to the threshold levels, and continues to 
provide participating agencies with an appropriate degree of 
flexibility in award size. In the proposed amendment, the SBA explained 
that it monitored information from the U.S. Department of Commerce's 
Bureau of Economic Analysis, including the GDP Implicit Price Deflator 
and the Satellite R&D Account, as well as the Biomedical Research and 
Development Price index, to determine the appropriate time for, and 
amount of, this adjustment. The SBA believes this information still 
supports the adjustment in this final amendment.

Discussion of Comments on the Final Amendments

    The 30-day public comment period closed on September 15, 2008. SBA 
received two comments on the proposed amendment. Both of the comments 
supported the proposed amendments and commended SBA for making the 
adjustments to the threshold amounts. One commenter noted further that 
because the National Institutes of Health (NIH) had already taken 
advantage of existing flexibility to exceed the guidelines, he did not 
foresee a significant reduction in the number of awards at that agency 
resulting from the change in guideline levels. SBA will move forward 
with the amendment as originally proposed.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    SBA has determined that these amendments to the SBIR PD do not 
impose additional reporting or recordkeeping requirements under the 
Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. Chapter 35.

Regulatory Impact Analysis

    OMB has determined that this amendment constitutes a ``significant 
regulatory action'' under Executive Order 12866 and in the proposed 
amendment to the Policy Directive, the SBA prepared a Regulatory Impact 
Analysis. The SBA received no comments on this analysis and continues 
to believe that the analysis was accurate.

Notice of Final Amendments to the Policy Directive; Small Business 
Innovation Research Program

    To: The Directors, Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) 
Program
    Subject: Final Revisions to the SBIR Program Policy Directive 
Concerning Phase I and Phase II Threshold Amounts
    1. Purpose. Section 9(j)(3) of the Small Business Act (Act) (15 
U.S.C. 638(j)(3)) requires the Administrator of the U.S. Small Business 
Administration (SBA) to modify the SBIR Program Policy Directive as 
required for the general conduct of the SBIR Program within the Federal 
Government. Specifically, Sec.  9(j)(2) of the Act requires the SBA to 
adjust the award amounts for Phase I and II to reflect economic or 
programmatic considerations once every five years.
    2. Authority. These amendments to the Policy Directive are issued 
under the authority of 15 U.S.C. 638(j).
    3. Procurement Regulations. The Federal Acquisition Regulations may 
need to be modified to conform to the requirements. Regulatory 
provisions that pertain to the areas of SBA responsibility will require 
approval of the SBA Administrator or designee. The SBA's Office of 
Technology is the appropriate office for coordinating such regulatory 
provisions.
    4. Personnel Concerned. All Federal Government personnel who are 
involved in the administration of the program, including those involved 
with the issuance and management of funding agreements of the SBIR 
Program and the establishment of goals for small business concerns in 
research or research and development procurements or grants.
    5. Distribution. Federal Government agencies and departments 
participating in the SBIR Program and those required to establish small 
business research development goals as directed by Sec.  9 of the Act 
(15 U.S.C. 638(j)).
    6. Originator. Office of Technology, SBA.
    7. Dates. These amendments will be effective when issued as final 
in the Federal Register.
    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, the SBIR Policy 
Directive is amended as follows:
    1. Amend Sec.  7(h)(1) by removing ``$100,000'' and adding in its 
place ``150,000'' and by removing ``$750,000'' and replacing it with 
``$1,000,000''.
    2. Amend Sec.  7(h)(2) by removing ``$100,000'' and adding in its 
place ``$150,000'' and by removing ``$750,000'' and adding in its place 
``$1,000,000''.
    3. Amend Sec.  10(b)(7) by removing ``$100,000'' and adding in its 
place

[[Page 15757]]

``$150,000'' and by removing ``$750,000'' and adding in its place 
``$1,000,000''.

    Dated: May 29, 2009.
Karen G. Mills,
Administrator, U.S. Small Business Administration.

    Editorial Note: This document was received in the Office of the 
Federal Register on March 25, 2010.

[FR Doc. 2010-7018 Filed 3-29-10; 8:45 am]
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