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Cybersecurity for Defense Manufacturing

Back to Closed Federal Funding Opportunities

UPDATE: This opportunity has closed.  The execution of awards will be in June to July 2019.

2019 Cybersecurity for Defense Manufacturing Notice of Federal Funding Opportunity (NOFO)

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) invites applications from current MEP Centers or consortia of Centers to support efforts to add capabilities to the nationwide Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership program (HMEPP) relative to the cybersecurity requirements and best practices for outreach, education, and assistance to manufacturers seeking to participate in various supply chains for the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD).  The applicant selected pursuant to this NOFO will provide outreach, education, and technical assistance to U.S. manufacturers who supply products within DoD supply chains and who must implement adequate cybersecurity protections as required by DoD.  This NOFO is being issued to support HMEPP’s implementation of an Interagency Agreement (IAA) executed in 2019 between HMEPP and the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD).

The primary goal of the work to be conducted via an award issued pursuant to this NOFO is to leverage the expertise of MEP Centers to assist defense manufacturers, with an emphasis on small-to-medium sized contractors, in implementing cybersecurity protections needed to safeguard Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) being handled in defense manufacturing supply chains.

Through this NOFO, HMEPP intends to make one (1) funding award to a MEP Center on behalf of a team of MEP Centers or a consortium of MEP Centers to conduct a series of processes to improve the cybersecurity posture of the U.S. defense industrial base.  The project funded pursuant to this NOFO will include activities that are consistent with HMEPP’s program priorities listed above.

Total funding available under this NOFO is up to $1,074,000.00 and will be utilized to conduct the activities referenced in the three (3) bullets below and described in further detail throughout this NOFO.  Portions of this total amount will be made available for the three (3) main activities as detailed herein.

Through the NOFO award, the participating MEP Centers will:

  1. Conduct outreach events creating awareness by and educating defense contractors about the importance of cybersecurity to their operations, especially awareness of cybersecurity requirements contained in DFARS clause 252.204-7012 that apply to all DoD contracts that cover CUI and educating them on potential steps they can take to remediate any deficiencies;
  2. Provide defense contractors with the technical assistance they need to help ensure that they have implemented adequate security to protect CUI as required by DFARS cybersecurity requirements contained in DoD contracts; and
  3. Pilot the provision of technical assistance to defense contractors to ensure the operational technology aspects of supply chain production systems have adequate cybersecurity protections.

To view a PDF of the full Notice of Funding Opportunity, click here.

Please submit your proposals via under Funding Opportunity Number 2019-NIST-MEP-CYBERDEFMFG-01.

Anticipated Amounts
NIST anticipates funding one (1) award to a MEP Center or consortium of Centers up to a total of $1,074,000 to conduct cybersecurity awareness and educational activities for defense contractors, provide cybersecurity technical assistance to facilitate DFARS implementation for defense contractors, and pilot the implementation of enhanced operational technology security at defense contractors.  The project awarded under this NOFO will have a performance period of up to 18 months.  (See Section II.2. of this NOFO for more information regarding the availability of NIST funding for this funding opportunity.)

Funding Instrument
Cooperative Agreement.  See Section II.1. of the NOFO for additional information concerning the funding instrument for these awards

Eligible applicants for this funding opportunity are MEP Centers or consortia of Centers receiving current cooperative agreement base funding from NIST.  NIST requires the submission of project proposals involving participation from multiple MEP Centers.  Proposals may also include the participation of other collaborating entities such as local economic development organizations, universities, community colleges, technology incubator programs, private third-party service providers, and other organizations.

A MEP Center may serve as the lead MEP Center applicant on only one (1) proposal.  There are no restrictions on the number of applications in which a MEP Center may serve as a project collaborator.  There are no restrictions on the number of MEP Centers that may be listed as participating in any individual proposal.  (See Section III.1 of this NOFO for more information regarding program eligibility.)

Cost Sharing Requirements
Non-federal cost share is not required for an award issued pursuant to the NOFO.  Applicants are encouraged to submit proposals with budgets that maximize the application of award funding to the performance of project tasking and other direct project costs.  (See Section III.2. of the NOFO for more information regarding cost sharing requirements and Section II.3. for more information regarding program income.)

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.

  • April 19, 2019 – Publication of Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) in
  • May 22, 2019, 11:59 pm EST, Friday Application due date
  • June to July 2019 – Review, Selection and Processing of Award
  • August 2019 – Targeted Start date

MEP Resources
The following resources are currently available:

Webinar Information Session
HMEPP will post one information recording for organizations that are considering applying for or participating as a team member in this funding opportunity.  The recording will provide general information regarding HMEPP and this funding opportunity and offer general guidance on preparing proposals.  The recording will provide information about potential participants, eligibility, evaluation criteria and selection factors, the selection process, program priorities and objectives, and the general characteristics of a competitive proposal during the webinar. The presentation slides and pre-recorded webinar will available to view no later than 5:00 pm Tuesday April 23rd, 2019.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Questions from potential applicants pertaining to NOFO eligibility, cost sharing requirements, evaluation criteria and selection factors, selection process, and the general characteristics of a competitive proposal will not be considered on an informal basis.  Potential applicants must submit all such questions in writing to mepnofo [at] (mepnofo[at]nist[dot]gov).  Answers to such written questions submitted to HMEPP may be made available to the public as part of an FAQ document.


For General Information

  • MEP Headquarters
    (301) 975-5020
    100 Bureau Drive, M/S 4800
    Gaithersburg, MD 20899-4800
Created February 27, 2019, Updated November 15, 2019