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Award Competitions for Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Centers in the States of Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, New Mexico, Nevada, North Dakota, South Carolina and Wyoming

Announcement of Federal Funding Opportunity (FFO)

Back to Closed Federal Funding Opportunities

UPDATE: This opportunity has closed.  The execution of awards will be in early 2017.

NIST invites applications from eligible organizations in connection with NIST’s funding up to eleven (11) separate 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 the 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 the 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 under Funding Opportunity Number 2016-NIST-MEP-02.

Funding Availability
NIST anticipates funding eleven (11) 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 FFO.  Funding for the awards listed below is contingent upon the availability of appropriated funds.

The table below lists the eleven (11) States identified for funding as part of the FFO and the estimated amount of funding available for each:

MEP Center Location and Assigned Geographical Service Area (by State)

Anticipated Annual Federal Funding for Each Year of the Award

Total Federal Funding for 5 Year Award Period



















New Mexico






North Dakota



South Carolina






Who Is Eligible
The eligibility requirements set forth below 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 FFO, nonprofit institutions include public or 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 who meet the eligibility criteria set forth in this section 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 the 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 MEP Center Core 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 FFO).  See also Section IV.6. of the FFO for funding restrictions under the MEP program.

Competition Time-line
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.

  • June 30, 2016 – Publication of Federal Funding Opportunity (FFO)/Federal Funding Opportunity (FRN)
  • July 21st at 2 p.m. Eastern and July 26th at 2:30 p.m. Eastern – Information Webinars (completed).
  • September 27, 2016 – Due Date for Proposals (please refer to FFO for specific details)
  • October 2016 – early 2017 – Review, Selection and Execution of Awards
  • April 1, 2017 – Targeted Start date

To register for one or more of the Information Webinars, please provide your name and organization and date of webinar to mepffo [at] (mepffo[at]nist[dot]gov).

Information Webinars
An information webinar was held on Thursday, July 21, 2016. Click on the usa-buttons below to view the presentation slides and recording.


webinar recording button

An information webinar was held on Tuesday, July 26, 2016. The presentation slides and recording are available. Click on the usa-buttons below to view the presentation slides and recording.

MEP Resources
The following resources are currently available:

Continued Resources: Background on the MEP Program

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  mepffo [at] (mepffo[at]nist[dot]gov).

Questions submitted along with the response will be incorporated into the FAQ document available below.

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.


For General Information

  • MEP Headquarters
    (301) 975-5020
    100 Bureau Drive, M/S 4800
    Gaithersburg, MD 20899-4800
Created June 30, 2016, Updated November 15, 2019