Small Business Innovation Research, Technology Infrastructure Can Help Create Jobs

Sep 09, 2011, 17:31 ET from IEEE-USA

WASHINGTON, Sept. 9, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- To help encourage job growth, Congress should reauthorize the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program and invest in America's technology infrastructure.

During his speech to Congress last night, President Barack Obama specifically cited small businesses as a key to job creation.  "Everyone here knows that small businesses are where most new jobs begin," Obama said. "And you know that while corporate profits have come roaring back, smaller companies haven't."  

One simple way that Congress can immediately help small technology companies is by passing a long-term SBIR reauthorization.

SBIR is a competitive, federally funded program that helps small companies conduct research into new technology. But because Congress has failed to pass a long-term SBIR reauthorization, companies cannot be sure of the program’s reliability.

"High-tech entrepreneurs are job creators, and our country should do everything we can to support them," IEEE-USA President Ron Jensen said. "Congress' failure to reauthorize the program for more than a year at a time has created uncertainty among small technology companies, and uncertainty breeds hesitation, which breeds stagnation. Congress could end this uncertainty by passing a long-term reauthorization of the program."

Obama also highlighted the important role that infrastructure investments play in the economic health of our country. But Congress should recognize that infrastructure in the 21st century must include a robust and intelligent electrical grid. The recent blackout in parts of Southern California, Arizona and Mexico demonstrates that our grid needs to be strengthened. Emerging technologies offer innovative ways to increase the reliability and efficiency of the system.  

"A reliable, efficient and affordable electric grid and IT infrastructure can power job growth across our country," Jensen said. "Investing in our nation's electrical infrastructure not only creates jobs today but also lays the foundation for a strong economy tomorrow."

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