March 10, 2011
HB 571 Maryland Biotech SBIR and STTR Bridge Program - SUPPORT
The Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce, as the voice of Montgomery County business, supports a Maryland program to support and promote advanced research in biotech by providing bridge funding to eligible biotech businesses.
A Maryland program providing grants to match federal funds received by biotech businesses that have completed a Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR) or Small Business Technology Transfer Research Program (STTR) I project and have applied for a phase II award targets a biotech sector in need of bridge funding to maintain viability. The Program is to be administered by TEDCO with award amounts of up to $100,000 with a total fund amount of $1 million. To the extent that funds are made available in the State budget, we applaud efforts to support small, innovative companies during initial phases of research and development that show potential for commercialization and public benefit.
Maryland's proximity to federal facilities that participate in the SBIR and STTR Programs is a unique opportunity for small technology companies based in Maryland. Enhancing a company's ability to continue through a Phase II award is critical to accomplishing the commercialization objectives resulting from Phase I and II R&D activities. Maryland's continued focus on an innovation economy will help lead us to a period of solid job growth. For this reason, we request a favorable report on HB 571.