Below are excerpts from grIP’s government funding advisor Liz Powell’s report on the likely impact of the 2020 elections on certain government funding matters, such as energy innovation and small business innovation, research and commercialization. Liz Powell is the founder of G2G Consulting (www.g2gconsulting.com).
Some Republicans have signaled support for expanding federal funding of energy innovation as a way to combat climate change, which has drawn strong support from Democrats and the Biden team. Other potential efforts include a major semiconductor R&D and microelectronics production initiative as part of the defense bill and the Endless Frontier Act, sponsored by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Senator Todd Young (R-IN), that aims to spend $100 billion over five years on technologies through an enormous new directorate tied to the National Science Foundation. Yet another pending measure is the House Democrats’ ambitious climate plan that includes major spending increases on R&D and technology commercialization, aspects of which are reflected in a clean energy bill the House passed largely along party lines in September. Also, the House FY2021 Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations bill includes $23.5 billion for the Department of Energy (DOE) in one-time “emergency” stimulus funding. However, House Science Committee Republicans oppose such plans and instead propose doubling budgets for earlier-stage research across various agencies.
Small Business and Innovation
The SBA is partnering with the MSI STEM R&D Consortium (MSRDC), which consists of minority-serving research institutions, industry, and government partners, to strengthen and expand small business innovation, research, and commercialization from underrepresented pools of science and engineering talent. Meanwhile the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) led the “Lab-to-Market: Connecting Communities to the U.S. Federal Innovation Ecosystem” as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week, an international movement to empower entrepreneurs and help make it possible for anyone, anywhere to start and scale. Also, the Federal and State Technology (FAST) Partnership funded 24 organizations this year, building the SBIR/STTR ecosystem through outreach, technical assistance, and financial support. Finally, several open solicitations ranging from NSF to DHS to DoD are available with early December and early January deadlines. All ARPA-E programs at the Department of Energy close early January. All of these efforts to drive small business growth, SBIR funding and the bringing of innovation to market will continue in the new administration and the OSTP is expected to regain stature and influence in the Biden administration.
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