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Feb 17 -- The Small Business Act, as amended by the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer Program (STTR) Reauthorization Act of 2011, requires SBA to collect regarding the SBIR and STTR awards made by the federal agencies that participate in those programs. SBA is required to maintain this information in searchable electronic databases and also to report the information to Congress annually. SBA invites comment to OMB by March 31, 2023 regarding this data collection. [Comments due 30 days after submission to OMB on March 1.]
 
This collection governs the collection of the SBIR.gov Company Registry and Commercialization Databases, the only collections in which SBA requests data directly from SBIR/STTR program applicants and participants. See 15 U.S.C. § 638(b)(7) and (k). This request will further modify the Company Registry portion of the data collection instrument by removing two collection questions and adding one. The modifications are: 1) removal of the collection of DUNS and instead collecting the company’s Unique Entity Identifier (UEI); 2) elimination of the collection of EIN due to using the UEI and 3) adding a consent to release contact information to local and State-level economic development organizations question.

SBA, as the overall administrator for the SBIR and STTR Programs, is required to collect and report to the Congress information regarding awards made to SBCs by each Federal agency participating in these programs. The information in the Company Registry and the Commercialization Database is used for evaluating and reporting on the SBIR and STTR programs and collected online through SBIR.gov.

Company Registry: The database includes ownership information from the company at time of application for an SBIR or STTR award. The information is used to help determine eligibility for the award.  The registry also is used to provide a mechanism for meeting the statutory requirement that small businesses that are majority-owned by venture capital operating companies (VCOCs), hedge funds and private equity firms be registered.  See 15 U.S.C. § 638(k)(1)(F)(i) and (dd)(3). SBA is proposing a modification to the Company Registry to allow the small business to consent to release contact information to local and State-level economic development organizations as required by statute. See 15 U.S.C. § 638(ll).

Commercialization Database: This database collects measures of commercial success, such as a company’s total sales, additional R & D, external investment amounts, the number of patents filed, the valuation of an initial public offering (IPO), and information on whether the small business merged with another company or was acquired.  The collected information is used by the SBA and other participating federal agencies to assess the performance of individual awardees and the overall performance and commercial impact of the SBIR and STTR programs and satisfies the requirement requiring Phase II award winners to provide and update such data. See 15 U.S.C. § 638(k)(2) and (3). The data collection is further used to enforce required Minimum and increased performance standards for participation to ensure applicants meet continued program eligibility. See 15 U.S.C. § 638(qq).  

The Company Registry and the Commercialization Database are components of the online SBIR.gov platform and are self-administered webforms. Companies who do not complete the Company Registry are unable to submit applications to the SBIR/STTR programs, and those not providing the required commercialization database information may be deemed ineligible to participate in the SBIR/STTR program. Failure to collect this information may threaten SBIR/STTR participating agencies and SBA of fulfilling requirements and tenets of the Small Business Act.

The information in the Company Registry and the Commercialization Database is used for program implementation, and the SBA’s independent monitoring and reporting on the SBIR and STTR programs.   The Company Registry information is used to help determine eligibility for SBIR and STTR awards and is used to provide a mechanism for meeting the statutory requirement that small businesses that are majority-owned by venture capital operating companies (VCOCs), hedge funds and private equity firms be registered.  See 15 U.S.C. § 638(k)(1)(F)(i) and (dd)(3).
Information collected in the commercialization database is used by the SBA and other agencies to assess the performance of individual awardees and the overall performance and commercial impact of the SBIR and STTR programs and assess awardees eligibility for the program based on meeting statutory minimum performance benchmarks.  Commercialization data can only be viewed by SBA, participating agencies, the U.S. Census Bureau, and support contractors subject to non-disclosure agreements with the Federal Government covering the use of the database.  See 15 U.S.C. § 638(k)(3). Information contained in the commercialization database is considered privileged and confidential and not subject to disclosure, data extracted from SBIR.gov includes a coversheet disclosure with appropriate references to statute.

SBIR/STTR database: https://www.sbir.gov/reports
SBA submission to OMB: https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAViewICR?ref_nbr=202303-3245-001 Click IC List for information collection instrument, View Supporting Statement for technical documentation. Submit comments through this webpage.
FRN: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2023-03376

For AEA members wishing to submit comments, "A Primer on How to Respond to Calls for Comment on Federal Data Collections" is available at https://www.aeaweb.org/content/file?id=5806

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