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Cardin Calls on NIH to Utilize Small Businesses for Extramural Research Projects
Date:6/22/2009

NIH declines to attend field hearing exploring use of Recovery Act funds

ROCKVILLE, Md., June 22 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), chaired a field hearing today of the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship in Rockville, MD, entitled "Missed Opportunities: The ARRA and the NIH/SBIR exclusion." During the hearing, local and national experts in biotechnology testified about the important research and development projects that could be funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) through the Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) program, creating jobs and helping to stimulate the economy in Maryland and across the country. Congressman Chris Van Hollen (MD-8) and Congresswoman Donna Edwards (MD-4), who both represent Montgomery and Prince George's Counties, home to numerous biotech and health-related small businesses, participated in the hearing with Senator Cardin.

"With our nation's economy in crisis, Congress moved quickly to enact The American Recovery and Investment Act of 2009 to stimulate our economy to create jobs. One such investment that I strongly supported was additional funding for the National Institutes of Health to conduct biomedical research in areas such as cancer, Alzheimer's, heart disease and stem cell research. I was sorely disappointed though when this NIH funding was exempted from mandatory participation in the SBIR and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. As a result, small businesses across the country are being denied the opportunity to receive upwards of $200 million in SBIR and STTR grants.

"The SBIR program is exactly the type of jumpstart that our economy needs during these tough times. Small firms employ 41% of the nation's high-tech workers and generate 13 to 14 times more patents per employee than large firms. The SBIR program alone has generated
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SOURCE U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship
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