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Frequently Asked Questions: CHIPS Manufacturing USA Institute Funding Opportunity

The following questions and answers apply to the CHIPS Manufacturing USA Program Notice of Funding Opportunity. For questions about the NOFO, eligibility requirements, evaluation and award criteria, selection process, and the general characteristics of a competitive application , email askchips [at] (askchips[at]chips[dot]gov)  with “2024-NIST-CHIPS-MFGUSA-01 Questions”  in subject. 

Questions are strongly encouraged by June 6, 2024 in order to ensure a timely response prior to the June 20, 2024 concept paper deadline.

We will update these FAQs regularly to incorporate answers to new questions we receive. 

For additional guides and materials for CHIPS R&D Funding Opportunities, please click here


Application Process



Research Security and Technology Protection

The institute application process consists of a mandatory concept paper and a full application. Full applications will only be accepted from applicants invited after the concept paper stage. 

Mandatory concept papers are due June 20, 2024. 

Full applications are due September 9, 2024. 

On May 8, 2024, CHIPS for America will host a webinar to provide general information regarding this NOFO, offer general guidance on preparing applications, and answer questions.  

On May 16, 2024, CHIPS for America will host a Proposers Day to promote awareness of this NOFO and provide a forum for organizations to identify prospective partners.  You can register for these events here. 

Applicants are required to submit a concept paper. Concept papers will only be accepted through The deadline for receipt of a concept papers at is 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time, June 20, 2024.  

Concept papers received after this deadline will not be reviewed or considered.  

Please note that an active registration is required to submit application materials through 

Eligible applicants (i.e., lead applicant) may only submit one Concept Paper for the institute award under this NOFO. Eligible entities (e.g, team members such as subrecipients, contractors, and/or unfunded collaborators) may participate on multiple concept papers and applications as a subrecipient. See Section 3.1 for more information. 

Applicants are required to have a account and a account. 

Full applications will be accepted only from those applicants invited after concept paper evaluation. Full applications must be received at no later than 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time, September 9, 2024. Applications received after this deadline will not be reviewed or considered.  

CHIPS for America anticipates awarding up to approximately $285 million in federal funding for a single institute award, with a performance period of up to five years.   

Construction activities are not an allowable cost with Federal funds under this NOFO. However, costs related to internal modifications of existing buildings that would be necessary to carry out the proposed research tasks may be allowed, at NIST discretion.  


This program requires cost-share in an amount equal to at least the total amount of Federal funding over the lifetime of the award.  

Cost-share is that portion of the project costs not borne by the Federal government.  

See Sections 1.2, 1.8, and 3.2 of the NOFO for definitions, additional information, and expectations regarding voluntary co-investments. 

Co-investments are commitments made by institute members to advance potential innovations from projects to higher Manufacturing Readiness Levels (MRLs). Examples of co-investments may include those required to enable the scale-up, commercialization, and transition to domestic production of institute-funded innovations. Co-investment is described further in Section 1.8. MRLs are described further in Section 1.5. 

Eligible applicants for the institute award are non-profit organizations; accredited institutions of higher education; State, local, and Tribal governments; and for-profit organizations that are domestic entities.  

Yes. CHIPS R&D encourages collaborative proposals under this NOFO, as significant partnership will likely be required to meet the CHIPS Manufacturing USA Program objectives. 

Teams can be composed of an applicant, along with any proposed subrecipients, contractors, and/or unfunded collaborators listed on the application, which may include potential institute members. 

Effective institutes will likely include expert representatives from for-profit and non-profit organizations (including industry-led consortia), research universities, community colleges, career and technical education schools, Federal laboratories, and State, local, and Tribal governments. 

Yes. Organizations executing existing Manufacturing USA institutes, Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDC), consortia, Microelectronics Commons, or other federally supported membership-based program are eligible to apply to this NOFO, with the understanding that the institute must be operationally separate and distinct from other supported efforts. 

Applicants under this NOFO must submit a plan to establish a Research Security Program. The CHIPS R&D Research Security Guidebook offers guidelines for applicants to consider when establishing their research security programs.  

As defined in 42 U.S.C. 18971(b), covered entities include: Historically Black College or Universities (HBCUs), Tribal Colleges or Universities, Minority Serving Institutions, a minority business enterprise (as defined in 15 C.F.R. § 1400.2), or a rural-serving institution of higher education (as defined in 20 U.S.C. § 1161q). 

A domestic entity is one incorporated within the United States (including U.S. territories) with its principal place of business in the United States (including U.S. territories).  

Foreign entities are eligible to join an institute team, a project team, or the membership of the institute, provided that they are not a foreign entity of concern, subject to CHIPS R&D review and approval.  

However, foreign entities cannot be the applicant entity.  

Yes. After an institute award has been issued, majority foreign-owned or foreign-controlled entities organized and operated in the United States may be allowed as subrecipients or contractors, subject to Section 3.1.6. 

Created May 4, 2024, Updated May 16, 2024