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17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
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Landrieu: The Business of NIH Should Be Small Business
6 October 2009 4:00 pm
A senior U.S. National Institutes of Health official took a step toward mending fences with the chair of the Senate Small Business Committee today by assuring her that the agency is doing its best to give small businesses their rightful share of stimulus funding for research.
Senator Mary Landrieu (D–LA) has been steamed by a clause in the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act that allowed NIH to exempt its slice, some $7.3 billion, from the 2.5% tax on every federal agency's research budget that funds the 27-year-old Small Business Innovation Research program. So she included Sally Rockey, NIH's acting head of extramural research, in a oversight hearing on how the stimulus funds have affected small businesses.
Rockey told Landrieu that NIH wasn't getting enough high-quality SBIR proposals—the number of applicants had dropped by almost half since 2003—to warrant expanding the program.
Although she declined to answer Landrieu's question about whether NIH requested the exemption, Rockey said that "we need to do a better job" of increasing participation and mentioned one new program designed to attract first-time applicants.
Landrieu did extract a promise from Rockey that "we're committed" to maintaining the current set-aside for SBIR and a smaller companion program totaling 2.8%. And Rockey predicted that NIH would end up giving small businesses about $200 million of its stimulus research funds—roughly what the set-aside would have accomplished—even without a mandate to do so.