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A high return on investment for taxpayers


NIST MEP's mission is to enhance the productivity and technological performance of U.S. manufacturing.

Who We Are

The Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) is based at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The national Program Office (NIST MEP) which provides the federal government funding for the MEP National Network™ is located in Gaithersburg, MD. The MEP National Network comprises the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NIST MEP), 51 MEP Centers located in all 50 states and Puerto Rico, and its over 1,400 trusted advisors and experts at approximately 375 MEP service locations, providing any U.S. manufacturer with access to resources they need to succeed.

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National Network of Centers located in all 50 states and Puerto Rico

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Public-private partnership with local flexibility

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Federal funds, state investments, and private sector fees cover services

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Market driven program that creates high value for all manufacturers

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Leverage partners to maximize service offerings

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Transfer technology and expertise to small and medium-sized manufacturers


Our Funding Model

MEP is a public-private partnership, designed from inception as a cost-share program. Federal appropriations pay one-half, with the balance for each Center funded by state / local governments and/or private entities, plus client fees. This cost-share model contributes to MEP's success. A GAO study found that because client fees give manufacturers a higher stake in the outcome of services, the positive impact on their businesses is greater. Meanwhile, public funding allows smaller manufacturers to afford services. NIST MEP uses 2 CFR 200 to monitor and govern the recipients' use of federal funds.

Strength in Partnerships

The MEP National Network's strength is in its partnerships. Through its collaborations at the federal, state and local level, MEP Centers work with manufacturers to develop new products and customers, expand and diversify markets, adopt new technology, and enhance value within supply chains. The MEP Program serves as a bridge to other organizations and federal research labs that share a passion for enhancing the manufacturing community. 

Delivering Value

As a public-private partnership, the Program delivers a high return on investment to taxpayers. For every one dollar of federal investment in FY 2019, the MEP National Network generated $33.80 in new sales growth and $32.20 in new client investment. This translates into $4.7 billion in new sales. During this same time, for every $1,221 of federal investment, the Network created or retained one manufacturing job. To learn more, view our Annual Report.

Why the MEP Program was Created

The Program was initially authorized in 1988. Our founding legislation provides the guidance for the Program’s purpose, objectives, eligibility to apply for funding, activities of Centers funded under the Program, and the cost share, performance, and evaluation requirements. It also establishes a MEP Advisory Board.

For every one dollar of federal investment in FY 2019, the MEP National Network generated $33.80 in new sales growth for manufacturers. For every $1,221 of federal investment, the Network created or retained one manufacturing job.

Impacts are based on clients receiving services in FY 2019


For General Information

  • MEP Headquarters
    (301) 975-5020
    100 Bureau Drive, M/S 4800
    Gaithersburg, MD 20899-4800
Created September 3, 2014, Updated August 24, 2020