Thursday, May 31, 2012

Congressman Adam Smith's Technology Issues Update

National Defense Authorization Act Highlights

Recently, the House of Representatives passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for FY2013. The legislation included many provisions to help improve the technology acquisition process as well as assist small businesses working with the Department of Defense.  Here are some of the highlights:

  • Adam sponsored an amendment that would remove commercial satellites and related components from the United States Munitions List. The amendment also creates an interagency process to coordinate additional modifications to the United States Munitions List and requires an annual report to Congress that includes a review of space and space-related technologies on the United States Munitions List as well as an assessment of the national security risks of removing certain technologies from the list. The annual report is also required to include recommendations to improve the space export control policy and process that do not adversely affect national security. The amendment passed by Voice Vote.
  • Directs the Department of Defense to review and consolidate the certification and accreditation process for IT systems to make it more efficient and easier for businesses to understand and comply with.
  • Allows the use of the research and engineering network of the Department of Defense to support regional advanced technology clusters and to encourage the development of innovative advanced technologies.
  • Allows the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering to establish an Advancing Innovation pilot program to accelerate the commercialization of research innovations
  • Requires the Secretary of Defense to develop a national security strategy for the technology and industrial base.
  • Establishes a pilot program to assist in the growth and development of advanced small business concerns.
  • Requires the notice of small business contracting opportunities to be posted on an appropriate Federal Web site as determined by the Administrator of the Small Business Administration.
  • Establishes a goal for participation by small business concerns of not less than 25 percent of the total value of all prime contracts for each fiscal year and a goal of 40 percent of the total value of all subcontract awards for each fiscal year.
  • Requires the Small Business Procurement Advisory Council to conduct reviews of each Office of Small and Disadvantage Business Utilization and to identify best practices for maximizing small business utilization in Federal contracting.
  • Increases the maximum surety bond amount from $2 to $6.5 million, with the Small Business Administration able to guarantee a surety bond of up to $10 million. Increasing the maximum surety bond amount, in certain cases, may increase small business contracting opportunities with the Department of Defense.


Innovation Funding Opportunity

Last week, the Obama Administration released a Federal Funding Opportunity (FFO), announcing a multi-agency Advanced Manufacturing Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge to help catalyze and leverage private capital, build an entrepreneurial ecosystem, and promote advanced manufacturing and cluster-based development in regions across the United States.

The deadline for applications is July 9, 2012. For more information, please visit: An informational webinar for the Advanced Manufacturing Jobs Accelerator will be available for viewing on that site in approximately two weeks.  

A total of 14 Federal Agencies are supporting the competition, with funding provided by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration and National Institute of Standards and Technology; the U.S. Department of Energy; the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration; the Small Business Administration; and the National Science Foundation.


President Obama Signs Ex-Im Bank Reauthorization into Law

Yesterday, Congressman Adam Smith made the following statement after President Obama signed the reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im) into law:

"I’m pleased the President signed this important legislation into law. The Ex-Im Bank is the vehicle that promotes the sale of U.S. exports abroad and is critical to creating and sustaining jobs at home. With one in three jobs in Washington State dependent on trade, financing from the Ex-Im Bank is crucial to giving small businesses the security needed to complete important transactions and to promote their products in the global marketplace. This law is important step forward in supporting our small businesses and in keeping us on the path to getting our economy back on track."

For more information on the signing of this important legislation, please click here.


If you have questions or comments, please contact Linda Danforth, Senior Advisor, at: 253-593-6600 or via email at: 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

New E-Commerce Educational Course to Start

Can adding an E-Commerce component or strengthening an existing E-Commerce model benefit your business?  Could formal employee education on the subject be part of your solution?

If so, please contact Brian Dunnicliffe with the Keller Center for Corporate Learning of DeVry University for information on a brand new E-Commerce specific educational opportunity starting soon