IEEE-USA in Action


By Sharon C. Richardson


On 13 December 2011, the House Science, Space and Technology Committee Chair Ralph Hall, R-Texas; House Small Business Committee Chair Sam Graves , R-Mo.; and Technology and Innovation Subcommittee Chair Ben Quayle, R-Ariz., announced that a bipartisan deal to reauthorize the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program has been agreed upon.    The negotiated reauthorization reauthorizes the program for six years; and increases the SBIR program allocation from 2.5 to 3.2 percent.  The STTR allocation decreases from three percent to .45 percent, giving small businesses an increased role in the federal R&D enterprise, while preserving the bulk of federal R&D funding for basic research.  It also allows for participation among small businesses with majority venture capital and private capital support in the program, increasing competition; and helps participating agencies combat waste, fraud and abuse within the SBIR and STTR programs, protecting taxpayer dollars in the program.  The reauthorizations task the National Research Council with evaluating the effectiveness of both the SBIR and the STTR programs.  In addition, it enables participating federal agencies to utilize three percent of program funds to improve program administration, as well as combat overall waste, fraud and abuse, and conduct outreach to underrepresented businesses.

On 15 September, IEEE-USA Past Present Ron Jensen wrote letters to Senate Majority Leader, the Honorable Harry Reid, and Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Honorable John Bohner, urging them to reauthorize SBIR and STTR.

For more background and information, you can also read IEEE-USA’s Position Statement on Small Business Innovation Research.




The IEEE’s U.S. members created IEEE-USA  in 1973 to recommend policies and implement programs "specifically intended to serve and benefit the members, the profession, and the public in the United States, in appropriate professional areas of economic, ethical, legislative, social and technology policy concern."  The IEEE-USA relies on the time and expertise of hundreds of IEEE U.S. volunteers to help them achieve this mission. If you are interested in IEEE-USA, or in promoting professional activities in your section, chapter, or student branch, and are willing to volunteer your time and energy, contact IEEE-USA. There are lots of ways to volunteer, from being a grassroots advocate to working with elementary and high school youth in the math, science and technology literacy areas. If you like to write, IEEE-USA E-Books– as well as IEEE-USA in Action, the quarterly interactive online magazine, and the monthly online magazine IEEE-USA Today’s Engineer, are always looking for articles and content to publish. If you would like to volunteer, and want to look at all the different ways you can get involved, go to



  The following is the chronological log of public policy communications made by or on behalf of the IEEE-USA, and other organizational units with IEEE, during the 112th Congress, 2d Session (2012), including testimonies, statements submitted for the record of congressional hearings, formal comments provided in response to public or regulatory notices, letters to Federal policy makers forwarding recommendations on public policy issues, and Legislative Alerts and similar notices of related government relations activities. Current Action Alerts can be accessed by IEEE members via IEEE-USA’s Legislative Action Center.

19 Jan. 2012

Letter to Leaders of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform and the House Subcommittee on Technology, Information Policy, Intergovernmental Relations, and Procurement Reform recommending improvements to the Grant Reform and New Transparency Act of 2011, (H.R. 3433).


20 Dec. 2011

Letter to Members of the House Energy, Science and Homeland Security and Senate Commerce and Homeland Security Committees Forwarding Answers to Frequently Asked Questions on Cybersecurity.

19 Dec. 2011

Letter to FCC Chair Julius Genachowski Reviewing Progress Towards Goal of Ubiquitous Broadband Deployment.

11 Dec. 2011

Letter to House Leadership Urging Reauthorization of the Federal Avaiation Administration To Ensure Progress on the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen)

7 Dec. 2011

Letter to Rep. Lamar Smith Urging Addition of EB Visas for STEM Graduates in Anticipated STEM-Related Immigration Legislation.

6 Dec. 2011

Letter to House Science Committee Chair Ralph Hall on NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope

5 Dec. 2011

Coalition letter (Task Force on American Innovation) to Rep. Frank Wolf Expressing Appreciation For His Leadership on Fiscal Year 2012 funding for NSF, NIST and NASA.



IEEE-USA position statements identify important technical and/or engineering career-related aspects of specific public policy issues deemed to be of concern or affecting IEEE’s U.S. members.  They make specific public policy recommendations and provide recommended approaches for consideration by the U.S. Congress, Executive Branch officials, the Judiciary, representatives of State and Local Government, and other interested groups and individuals, including IEEE members.

Below are some of the latest position statements that the IEEE-USA Board approved at its November 2011 meeting:

IEEE-USA position statements are not copyrighted and may be linked to, reproduced or excerpted with appropriate attribution as entity positions of the IEEE-United States of America (IEEE-USA).  IEEE-USA position statements should not be attributed as policy statements of IEEE or any other IEEE organizational unit.

Copies of IEEE-USA position statements are also available free of charge by request to IEEE-USA, 2001 L Street, N.W., Suite 700, Washington, DC 20036, phone: 202-785-0017, by email to, or by fax to 202-785-0835.


Sharon Richardson is IEEE-USA’s communications coordinator, and editorial assistant for IEEE-USA in ACTION.

Guest Contributor

IEEE-USA is an organizational unit of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. (IEEE), created in 1973 to support the career and public policy interests of IEEE’s U.S. members. IEEE-USA is primarily supported by an annual assessment paid by U.S. IEEE Members.

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