Announcement of Federal Funding Opportunity (FFO)
UPDATE: This opportunity has closed. The execution of awards will be in June/July 2016.
NIST invites applications from eligible organizations in connection with NIST's funding up to thirteen (13) separate MEP cooperative agreements for the operation of MEP Centers in the designated States' service areas and in the funding amounts identified in Section II.2. of this FFO. NIST anticipates awarding one (1) cooperative agreement for each of the identified States. The objective of the MEP Center Program is to provide manufacturing extension services to primarily small and medium-sized manufacturers within the States designated in this FFO. The selected organization will become part of the MEP national system of extension service providers, currently located throughout the United States and Puerto Rico.
To view a PDF of the full Federal Funding Opportunity, click here.
Please submit your proposals via www.grants.gov under Funding Opportunity number 2016-NIST-MEP-01.
NIST anticipates funding thirteen (13) MEP Center awards with an initial five-year period of performance in accordance with the multi-year funding policy described in Section II.3. of the corresponding FFO. Initial funding for the awards listed below is contingent upon the availability of appropriated funds.
The table below lists the thirteen (13) States identified for funding as part of the corresponding FFO and the estimated amount of funding available for each:
MEP Center Location and Assigned Geographical Service Area (by State)1
Anticipated Annual Federal Funding for Each Year of the Award
Total Federal Funding for 5 Year Award Period
1 The States of Ohio and Utah were included in a prior round of MEP Center award competitions (see 80 FR 12451 (March 9, 2015) and NIST Funding Opportunity Number 2015-NIST-MEP-01), which did not result in an application being selected for funding. As a result, NIST is announcing competition for these two States as part of this round of MEP Center award competitions.
Who Is Eligible
The eligibility requirements set forth in Section III.1 of the corresponding FFO will be used in lieu of and to the extent they are inconsistent with will supersede those given in the MEP regulations found at 15 CFR part 290, specifically 15 CFR § 290.5(a)(1). Each applicant for and recipient of an MEP award must be a U.S.-based nonprofit institution or organization. For the purpose of the corresponding FFO, nonprofit institutions include public and private nonprofit organizations, nonprofit or State colleges and universities, public or nonprofit community and technical colleges, and State, local or Tribal governments. Existing MEP awardees and new applicants that meet the eligibility criteria set forth in Section III.1. of the corresponding FFO may apply. An eligible organization may work individually or may include proposed subawards to eligible organizations or proposed contracts with any other organization as part of the applicant's proposal, effectively forming a team. However, as discussed in Section I.4. of this FFO, NIST generally will not fund applications that propose an organizational or operational structure that, in whole or in part, delegates or transfers to another person, institution, or organization the applicant's responsibility for core MEP Center management and Oversight functions. In addition, the applicant must have or propose an Oversight Board or Advisory Committee and Governance structure or plan for establishing a board structure within 90 days from the award start date (Refer to Section I.3. of the corresponding FFO).
Below is an outline of the key steps along with the target timing of each. These actions will take place over the next several months. Updates and changes will be posted to this site as needed.
- January 26, 2016 – Announcement of Federal Funding Opportunity (FFO)/Federal Funding Opportunity (FRN)
- February 23, 2016 at 3 p.m. Eastern – Information Webinar #1
- March 4, 2016 at 1 p.m. Eastern – Information Webinar #2
- April 25, 2016 – Due Date for Proposals
- April – June/July 2016 – Review, Selection and Execution of Awards
- October 1, 2016 – Target Start date
To register for one of the Information Webinars, please provide your name and organization to email@example.com.
An information webinar was held on Tuesday, February 23, 2016. The presentation slides and
are available online.
An information webinar was held on Friday, March 4, 2016. The presentation slides and
are available online.
The following resources are currently available:
- System Strategic Plan;
- Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership Operating Plan Guidelines;
- Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership General Terms and Conditions;
- 2014 Annual Report;
- 5 Year Budget Template;
- Year 1 Detailed Budget Tables and Justifications; and
- MEP Reporting Guidelines
Continued Resources: Background on the MEP Program
- Manufacturing Technology Acceleration Center (M-TAC) Pilot Projects – Report on Initial Progress and Learning (February 2015)
- Promising Practices in Overall Performance – Featuring MEP Centers of Indiana, Ohio, and Oklahoma (January 2013)
- National Governors Association – "Making" Our Future – What States Are Doing to Encourage Growth in Manufacturing through Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Investment (January 2013)
- Re-examining the MEP Business Model: Alternatives for Increasing the Program's Impact on US Manufacturing Sector Performance (October 2010)
- Hollings MEP Advisory Board Innovation and Product Development in the 21st Century (February 2010)
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Questions from applicants pertaining to MEP eligibility, cost-sharing requirements, evaluation criteria and selection factors, selection process, and the general characteristics of a competitive MEP proposal will not be considered on an informal basis. Applicants must submit all such questions in writing to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This FAQ is designed to provide a better understanding of the Center Competition, the implementation, and other general questions. To download the FAQ document, click here.