SBIR Gateway

SBIR Insider Newsletter - Update
March 1, 2010 Edition

Dear SBIR Gateway Insider,

Here is a brief update on some results of your efforts to counter the antics of the "Honorable" Jason Altmire (lobbyist turned congressman D-PA) who attempted to trick the House into inserting his radical SBIR legislation (H.R. 2965) into the Jobs bill. (New subscribers, see for the background on this story).

Your response was great. The House received many emails from you, SBTC members, readers of Ann Eskesen's email, readers of Fred Patterson's Blog (The SBIR Coach), and I'm sure several other sources as well. Your voices were heard and it threw Mr. Altmire for a curve but he's bouncing back with a clarification to his previous email.

In this issue:

The Altmire Quagmire Part Deux

In what appears to be an attempt to negate the impact of your letters objecting to his original email, Altmire has sent out a second letter, this time suggesting a COMPROMISE between the House & Senate SBIR bills. The new part reads:

" As Congress crafts legislative packages to stimulate the economy and create jobs, American small businesses should be first and foremost on our minds. SBIR Reauthorizations passed the House and the Senate in 2009, but have yet to be reconciled and signed into law (H.R. 2965 and S.1233.) A compromise of these two bills to reauthorize SBIR would be an ideal job-creating addition to a jobs package."

In actuality the House & Senate Small Biz Committees could have reconciled their differences long ago, and a reauthorized, stable SBIR program could have been in place and creating additional jobs for the last several months (both House and Senate passed their bills last summer).

The Altmire Quagmire is the fact that neither he, nor any of his House Small Business Committee members have attempted to even respond to the Senate's compromise offers since October of 2009. If actions speak louder than words, it suggests Altmire is strictly a phony on the SBIR issues he presents.

Obviously if Altmire and Nydia Velazquez (House Small Biz Committee chair) refuse to meet, or direct their staffers to meet with the Senate Small Biz folks, it suggests Altmire & Velazquez are banking on their radical House SBIR bill to be included "as is" in the House's jobs bill, where SBIR is likely to get lost in the Jobs bill conferencing with the Senate. End result being the House SBIR bill becomes law.

Bottom Line: The email campaign to your representatives should continue. If you haven't written to your congressmen and the House leadership staffers, you should consider doing so now.

Although I believe in sending individual emails to your politicos, the Small Business Technology Council (SBTC) has created a quick and easy "fill in the form" email service for you to use. It is located at:

The addresses of pertinent staffers to send directly to are:

Altmire: [email protected]
Pelosi: [email protected]
Hoyer: [email protected] (this address contained a typo in our last Insider)

Also, MOST IMPORTANT, call or write your congressman!

If you wish, copy your email to me at [email protected] Many of you have, and it is appreciated.

Small Businesses Rule At ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit

We can't end on a sour note so here's some major good news about small high tech businesses partnering with universities, federal labs, and large business for ARPA-E funding.

Live (or almost live) from the floor of the ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit at the Gaylord Convention Center in Washington DC:

At the Pre-Summit workshops held today (March 1, 2010) we heard from Arun Majumdar, ARPA-E Director, and his senior staff about the healthy state of the DOE's Advance Research Projects Agency (Energy). This organization is modeled after the DoD's DARPA program in that it is interested in the most advanced, out of the box, highest risks technologies, in this case devoted to energy.

In their first round of award funding (about $151M), small businesses scored 43% of the awards, considerably higher than academia or large business. Awards ranged from a low of $550K to $9.1M, with the sweet spot between $2M - $3M.

Most of the small business awards featured the small business as the prime, working with universities, large industry, and some federal laboratories. It is a model in innovating partnering. We will let you know when the next round comes out and will feature some of the small business ARPA-E success stories for you in an upcoming SBIR Insider.

DOE Under Secretary Addresses SBIR Funding Session

ARPA-E has good cross sections of SBIR and STTR involved in their Summit. Dr. Kristina Johnson, DOE Under Secretary not only spoke at the SBIR session, but also moderated it. Her enthusiasm and knowledge of SBIR/STTR programs was truly impressive, and somewhat reminiscent of what we witnessed with former DoD Under Secretary Dr, James Finley (a great and pro-active SBIR champion).

Like Finley, Dr. Johnson has been in the private sector as well as academia, and she posses the talent and skills to lead DOE SBIR to new heights. The fact that someone at under secretary level would take this much interest in their SBIR program, speaks well of DOE's commitment to SBIR/STTR and small businesses. Another impressive attribute concerning Dr. Johnson was her willingness to spend considerable time listening to the attendee's comments. The Q&A portion demonstrated her excellent technical and business knowledge. She'll be someone to watch!

Your response to our last SBIR Insider was nothing short of amazing. I regret that I have been unable to answer all the emails, but I'm still trying. Keep up the good work and the spirit to fight for your SBIR program.

Thanks again for your time.



Rick Shindell
SBIR Gateway
Zyn Systems
40 Alderwood Dr.
Sequim, WA 98382
[email protected]

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