Or if it is I've been deaf to it. The Small Business Innovation Research program and the Small Business Technology Transter program would appear to be tailor made for stimulus. The NIH participates in these programs.
The Small Business Innovation research (SBIR) program is a set-aside program (2.5% of an agency's extramural budget) for domestic small business concerns to engage in Research/Research and Development (R/R&D) that has the potential for commercialization.
Federal agencies with extramural R&D budgets over $1 billion are required to administer STTR programs using an annual set-aside of 0.30%. Currently, five Federal agencies participate in the STTR program: DOD, DOE, DHHS (NIH), NASA and NSF. In fiscal year (FY) 2006 (October 1, 2005-September 30, 2006), the NIH made SBIR grant and contract awards totaling over $572 million and STTR grant awards totaling over $68 million.
Okay, so that sounds promising. What are these funding programs supposed to be?
Objectives . The SBIR Program includes the following objectives: using small businesses to stimulate technological innovation, strengthening the role of small business in meeting Federal R/R&D needs, increasing private sector commercialization of innovations developed through Federal SBIR R&D, increasing small business participation in Federal R/R&D, and fostering and encouraging participation by socially and economically disadvantaged small business concerns and women-owned business concerns in the SBIR program. The STTR and SBIR programs are similar in that both programs seek to increase the participation of small businesses in Federal R&D and to increase private sector commercialization of technology developed through Federal R&D. The unique feature of the STTR program is the requirement for the small business concern applicant organization to formally collaborate with a research institution in Phase I and Phase II.
Differences between SBIR and STTR. The SBIR and STTR programs differ in two major ways. First, under SBIR Program, the Principal Investigator must have his/her primary employment with the small business concern at the time of award and for the duration of the project period, however, under the STTR Program, primary employment is not stipulated. Second, the STTR Program requires research partners at universities and other non-profit research institutions to have a formal collaborative relationship with the small business concern. At least 40 percent of the STTR research project is to be conducted by the small business concern and at least 30 percent of the work is to be conducted by the single, "partnering" research institution.
Reading this it kinda surprises you that they didn't include some extra demands to route stimulus money into the SBIR/STTR programs doesn't it?