ASME Urges Support of Technology Programs That Spur Growth of Small Businesses

NEW YORK, Sept. 27, 2010 – The Innovation Committee of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) has issued a letter to the U.S. Congress urging federal government support of technology programs to support the small business community, sharing the opinion of many economists and policy experts who believe innovation and growth at small businesses are key to job creation and national economic health.

In the letter, ASME is requesting Congressional leaders to reauthorize both the Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer Program (STTR), which grant awards enabling small companies to develop new technologies and bring the technologies to commercial markets around the world.

“The SBIR and STTR programs have an exemplary record of achievement across federal agencies,” says ASME in the letter, which reflects the official position of the organization’s full membership.  The programs “are crucial to fostering innovation in the U.S. economy and encouraging participation from small and minority-owned companies in federal research and development.”

In the statement, ASME posits that SBIR and STTR be a permanent part of the U.S. government’s technology investment portfolio.  “Investment in small business is exactly what our country needs to grow the economy and create new jobs,” asserts ASME.

The Small Business Administration estimates that 60 percent or more of the net new jobs in the United States are created by small and medium-sized businesses.  Many experts in both government and business believe innovation and entrepreneurship hold the best hope for lifting the United States out of the nation’s current economic morass.  A bipartisan struggle is ongoing in Washington over pending tax increases for small businesses.

About ASME
ASME helps the global engineering community develop solutions to real world challenges. Founded in 1880 as the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, ASME is a not-for-profit professional organization that enables collaboration, knowledge sharing and skill development across all engineering disciplines, while promoting the vital role of the engineer in society. ASME codes and standards, publications, conferences, continuing education and professional development programs provide a foundation for advancing technical knowledge and a safer world.