Small enterprises involved in commercial R&D can access grants and contracting opportunities through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. It was recently extended by Congress until 2025.
To guard against outside meddling with the SBIR program and the agencies that participate in it, the reauthorization contains strict national security requirements. Legislators reinforced existing benchmarks and instructed the Government Accountability Office to evaluate their effects in order to stop enterprises that repeatedly obtain awards while rarely commercializing their research from abusing the SBIR program. These companies are referred to as SBIR “mills.” Multiple award winners who do not fulfill standards continue to receive limited penalties, indicating that these revisions will not significantly reduce the number of SBIR mills. Enforcement and close monitoring will be necessary to