Summary: S.2941 — 102nd Congress (1991-1992)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Passed Senate amended (10/03/1992)

Small Business Research and Development Enhancement Act of 1992 - Title I: Small Business Innovation Research Program - Small Business Innovation Research Program Reauthorization Act of 1992 - Amends the Small Business Act regarding small business eligibility for Federal agency research and development awards to include in the evaluation process the consideration of ideas that appear to have commercial potential.

Prescribes minimum Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program expenditure amounts for FY 1993 and thereafter for each Federal agency which in any fiscal year has an extramural budget for research or research and development in excess of $100,000,000.

Includes amounts obligated within the Department of Defense (DOD) solely for operational systems development within the definition of "extramural budget." Excludes from such definition amounts obligated within the Department of Energy solely for weapons activities or for naval reactor programs.

Directs each Federal agency that is required to establish an SBIR program to: (1) determine research topics within SBIR solicitations that give special consideration to broad research and to topics that further critical technologies; and (2) make payments in full to SBIR funding agreement recipients, subject to specified audit deadlines.

Requires the Administrator of the Small Business Administration (SBA) to modify SBIR policy directives to provide for: (1) retention of rights to data by small businesses; (2) continued use of agency property; (3) follow-on contracts; (4) increased amounts of first and second phase awards; (5) notification of SBIR agencies and participants of critical technologies; (6) outreach to increase the participation of socially and economically disadvantaged small businesses; (7) gap-funding programs; and (8) procedures to ensure that small businesses that are submitting proposals for first phase funding and that have received more than 15 second phase awards in previous years are able to demonstrate the concepts developed from such awards.

Eliminates a requirement for an annual report by the Office of Science and Technology Policy.

Directs Federal agencies required to establish SBIR programs, upon making an SBIR solicitation award for which they only receive one proposal, to provide justification of such awards in their annual reports. Requires such agencies to include justification in such reports for: (1) first phase awards made to entities that have received more than 15 second phase awards during the preceding five fiscal years; and (2) awards made for critical technology topics.

Requires Federal agencies to inform each awardee under a research funding agreement of the allowable expenses to be included under the agreement.

Repeals the SBIR Program under the Small Business Innovation Development Act of 1982. Extends the SBIR Program under the Small Business Act through FY 2000.

Directs the Comptroller General to report to the Congress on research performed under SBIR agreements.

Requires the Secretary of Defense to submit a recommendation to the Congress addressing whether there has been a reduction in the quality of research performed under the SBIR Program since FY 1993 such that increasing required expenditure amounts would adversely affect DOD research programs.

Title II: Small Business Technology Transfer Pilot Program - Small Business Technology Transfer Act of 1992 - Amends the Small Business Act to declare that it is the duty of the SBA to maintain a source file and information program to assure small businesses the opportunity to participate in Federal agency small business technology transfer (STTR) programs, under which a portion of a Federal agency's research and development effort is reserved for small businesses for cooperative research and development through a three-phased process paralleling the SBIR process.

Requires Federal agencies with research or research and development budgets exceeding $1,000,000 in FY 1994, 1995, or 1996 to expend specified percentages of such amount with small businesses in connection with an STTR program meeting prescribed requirements. Outlines requirements for Federal agencies establishing such programs. Requires the SBA Administrator to issue policy directives for the general conduct of STTR programs.

Title III: Miscellaneous Provisions - Authorizes Federal agencies required to conduct SBIR programs to enter into agreements with vendors to provide small businesses with technical assistance services such as access to networks or technical and business literature available through on-line data bases. Limits the amount of such assistance.

Amends the Small Business Administration Reauthorization and Amendments Act of 1990 to extend the authorization for the Small Business Technology Transfer Demonstration Program through FY 1995.

Amends the Small Business Act to add to the list of the SBA's duties the making of a grant to an institution of higher education for a small business institute to be used to provide business counseling and assistance to small businesses through the activities of students enrolled at the institution.

Authorizes Federal agencies to enter into third phase agreements for additional work with small businesses that have been awarded funding agreements for the second phase of an SBIR or STTR program.

Expresses the sense of the Congress that an entity awarded a funding agreement under the SBIR Program should, when purchasing equipment or products with such funds, purchase only American-made equipment and products to the extent possible.

Authorizes the SBA to fund additional microloan programs in FY 1993 if it has funded fewer than 50 programs in FY 1992.