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Advanced Technology Program Announces 2000 Competition

For Immediate Release: November 29, 1999


Contact: Michael Baum
(301) 975-2763

The Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology today announced a new competition for fiscal year 2000 to co-fund new, innovative R&D projects under the Advanced Technology Program.

The ATP was created to help U.S. industry tackle the challenging, high-risk R&D projects needed to accelerate the development of path-breaking new technologies that are important to the economy. The program expects to have approximately $50.7 million available in fiscal year 2000 for first-year cost-shared funding of new projects that can run as long as five years. Based on previous competitions, this would be expected to translate into a joint industry/government R&D investment of roughly $300 million through 2004.

Commerce Secretary William M. Daley said, "The ATP is a true industry-government partnership, and it needs industry’s strong participation to achieve its goal of strong, continuing economic benefits for our nation. I call on every sector of American industry to be alive to the possibilities, to consider how, with ATP support, you can push the envelope of what you can attempt, and to send us your best ideas."

The ATP is making a special effort, working with state and regional technology programs, to ensure that small companies are aware of the opportunities for R&D assistance offered by the program. The ATP also actively participates in state/federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) conferences around the country.

NIST’s Advanced Technology Program accepts proposals from any industry and any field of technology. The ATP seeks proposals for innovative, high-risk R&D that offers the potential for widespread benefits for the U.S. economy and society as a whole. ATP projects range from aquaculture to X-ray lithography, and the program has contributed significantly to technological advances in fields as diverse as automated DNA analysis, superconducting electronics, automobile assembly and software systems for the healthcare industry. Companies of any size may apply to the program and many successful projects have been developed by small start-up companies. Many universities have participated in ATP-supported research, but industry must lead ATP projects.

The program concentrates on those technologies that offer significant, broad-based benefits to the nation’s economy but that are not likely to be developed in a timely fashion without the ATP’s support because they are judged too risky or too far outside the mainstream. Awards are made on the basis of announced competitions that consider the technical and economic merits of the proposed projects.

The ATP competition announcement appears today on CBDNet, the electronic version of Commerce Business Daily. NIST plans to conduct one open ATP competition this year. Proposals will be assigned to one of several independent technology-specific selection boards to ensure that each potential project is reviewed by the board most qualified to evaluate its merits. Detailed competition rules and the current ATP Proposal Preparation Kit (dated November 1999) are available from the ATP web site at, by sending e-mail to, by calling 1-800-ATP-FUND (1-800-287-3863), or by faxing a request to (301) 926-9524 or (301) 590-3053.

The deadline for full proposals to the 2000 ATP competition is 3 p.m. Eastern time on Wednesday, March 8, 2000. NIST accepts abbreviated ATP pre-proposals throughout the year to provide feedback to potential applicants as to the suitability of the proposed project. Pre-proposals should be submitted no later than two months prior to the deadline for full proposals to allow enough time to incorporate the feedback comments in a full proposal. [Details of this optional pre-proposal process may be found in the ATP Proposal Preparation Kit.]

NIST will host a public meeting (Proposers’ Conference) for potential proposers and other interested parties to review general information on the 2000 competition, the selection process, and ATP rules and procedures on Thursday, Jan. 27, 2000, at the NIST site in Gaithersburg, Md. To register or for further information, call the ATP at 1-800-ATP-FUND. No registration fee is charged for the Proposers’ Conference. Potential applicants are not required to attend.

As a non-regulatory agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Technology Administration, NIST strengthens the U.S. economy and improves the quality of life by working with industry to develop and apply technology, measurements and standards through four partnerships: the Measurement and Standards Laboratories, the Advanced Technology Program, the Manufacturing Extension Partnership and the Baldrige National Quality Program.

NIST, an agency of the Commerce Department’s Technology Administration, promotes economic growth by working with industry to develop and apply technology, measurements and standards through four partnerships: the Manufacturing Extension Partnership, the Measurement and Standards Laboratories, the Advanced Technology Program, and the Baldrige National Quality Program.