Federal Relations

July 6, 2011

Patent Reform Bill Remains Stalled in Senate

The Senate has been unable to quickly vote on the House-passed version of Patent Reform, and it now looks increasingly likely that votes will have to be allowed on a couple of controversial amendments to the bill which could cause further problems. One of the House adopted amendments would recalculate the filing period for patent term extension

June 1, 2011

SBIR Extension Signed by President

The President signed a bill late last week that will extend the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program until September 30, 2011. The previous extension was set to expire on the 31st of May. There is no increase to the set-aside at this time which will remain at 2.5% for research agencies with R&D budgets greater than $100

May 13, 2011

FY11 FIPSE Grants Cancelled

The Department of Education has cancelled their FY11 FIPSE grant process due to lack of funds.  The following explanation is posted on the Department’s website: “Congressional action on the FY 2011 budget substantially reduced funds available for grants from the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education, including new grants under the Comprehensive Program. Therefore, no

May 11, 2011

DREAM Act Reintroduced

Senate Democrats plan to reintroduce the DREAM Act.  Just like the previous versions over the past several years, this year’s version will likely authorize the Secretary of Homeland Security (DHS) to cancel the removal of, and adjust to conditional nonimmigrant status, an alien who: (1) entered the United States before his or her 16th birthday and

May 5, 2011

SBIR Reauthorization Makes Progress in House, Hits Roadblock in Senate

The Senate convened this morning to vote on a motion to invoke cloture that aimed to limit further debate on the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) bill (S493) and its reauthorization through 2019, but failed to meet the required minimum of 60 votes. There was increased controversy arising from the bill, as amendments attached to

April 1, 2011

Administration Focuses on Strategies to Increase College Graduation Rates

In late March, America’s Promise Alliance–founded by former Secretary of State General Colin Powell, held a three day “Building a Grad Nation” summit in Washington, DC. The purpose was to inspire a movement to reach a goal of a 90 percent national college graduation rate by 2020 and place the US in the lead for the highest

February 16, 2011

Department of Education FY12 Budget Summary

The Department of Education has released the following summary of the President’s FY12 budget request for the agency: U.S. Department of Education Information Release 2/14/11 Deep cuts and efficiencies in several key education programs will help fund new education investments to keep American students competitive in the global economy under the proposed 2012 Obama administration

February 14, 2011

President’s FY12 Budget Request

Today, President Obama released a $3.73 trillion budget request for FY12. The White House estimates that the request and projections for spending in the out-years would reduce the deficit by more than $1 trillion over the next decade. Despite reductions in overall spending, the request contains significant increases for research and development as well as some education programs.

January 31, 2011

Startup America Partnership

As part of the Obama Administration’s innovation agenda, the White House today announced the launch of the Startup America Partnership, a “public/private effort to promote entrepreneurship with new initiatives to encourage private sector investment in job-creating startups and small firms.”  The effort “brings together an alliance of the country’s most innovative entrepreneurs, corporations, universities, foundations,

January 20, 2011

Dept. of Ed. Set to Release 2011-12 Pell Schedule

The U.S. Department of Education has determined that it can establish the Pell Grant maximum for the 2011-12 academic year at $5,550 based on the Dec. 22, 2010, Continuing Resolution (CR) that expires on March 4. The agency plans to issue the 2011-12 Pell Grant Payment and Disbursement Schedules using the $5,550 maximum Pell (same

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