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Washington, DC – U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Chris Coons (D-DE) have reintroduced the Research Advancing to Market Production (RAMP) for Innovators Act, which would improve the ability of small businesses to market under the Small Business Administration of the United States. (SBA) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. The RAMP for Innovators Act, which Rubio and Coons first introduced in July 2019, would expand access to research and development grants, in preference to small businesses with high growth potential, improve technical and commercial assistance, assess the impact of small business commercialization and assist businesses in the process of intellectual property protection. US Representatives Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA) and Troy Balderson (R-OH) introduced complementary legislation to the US House of Representatives. “The pandemic has exposed vulnerabilities in the US supply chain and our over-reliance on countries like China,” Rubio said. “It’s more important than ever to harness the strength and ingenuity of small businesses across the country to scale up our domestic manufacturing and innovation. This legislation would help startups and other small innovative businesses access federal research and development funds, protect their intellectual property, and market. “Small businesses are the engine of innovation in the United States, and with support to bring their ideas to market, these startups can drive job growth and strengthen our economic security,” Coons said. “Helping startups access financial support and business advice means they can focus on transforming promising technologies into innovative products that increase our country’s prosperity and security. I am proud to partner again with Senator Rubio to help innovative small manufacturers bring their technologies to market. More specifically, the Law on the Advancement of Research into Commercial Production (RAMP) for innovators:
Improves the timeliness of SBIR / STTR decision proposals, prioritizes companies with a probability of commercialization and extends the flexibility of Direct to Phase II;
Requires the SBA to coordinate all agencies to develop a marketing impact assessment;
Directs the SBA administrator to coordinate with the United States Patent and Trade Office to allow certain SBIR recipients priority and fee waivers with the OneTrack patent program, and
Creates a designated Technology Commercialization Officer in each participating agency to assist awardees with technology commercialization and transition, and report to the SBA on actions taken to simplify, standardize, and speed up the process.
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