Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Embedding MEP in Manufacturing USA Institutes Pilot Projects Round Two

Back to Closed Federal Funding Opportunities

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

NIST invites proposals from current MEP Centers to pilot test approaches to provide needed technology acceleration assistance to small and mid-sized U.S. manufacturers (hereinafter referred to as small U.S. manufacturers) through the establishment of meaningful and results oriented collaborations between the nationwide system of Centers operating as part of the NIST Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Program (hereinafter referred to as NIST MEP), and the public-private manufacturing innovation Institutes operating as part of Manufacturing USA (previously known as the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI), and hereinafter referred to as Manufacturing USA Institutes).

NIST MEP previously made funding awards to MEP Centers in FY 2016 to embed personnel in five (5) of the nine (9) Manufacturing USA Institutes pursuant to Round One of this pilot program.[1]  This FFO is targeting the issuance of up to four (4) cooperative agreements to existing MEP Centers to embed personnel in the four (4) Manufacturing USA Institutes identified below;

  • America Makes, the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute,
  • Lightweight Innovations for Tomorrow (LIFT),
  • The Advanced Functional Fabrics of America (AFFOA) Institute, and
  • The Clean Energy Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute

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

Please submit your proposals via is external) under Funding Opportunity number 2017-NIST-MEP-EMUSA-01.

Funding Availability.  NIST anticipates funding up to four (4) cooperative agreement awards, with up to two-year (2) periods of performance, in accordance with the multi-year funding policy described in Section II.3. of this FFO.  It is expected that funding for these awards will be between $300,000 and $600,000 per year, with total federal funding for the two-year award period being between $600,000 and $1,200,000.  NIST anticipates up to  $4,800,000 in total federal funding being available for awards issued pursuant to this FFO. 

Who Is Eligible.  Eligible applicants for this program are MEP Centers receiving current cooperative agreement funding from NIST.  An applicant MEP Center must form a collaboration, teaming arrangement, or other appropriate relationship with one (1) or more of the four (4) Manufacturing USA Institutes identified in Section I. of this FFO.  These four (4) Manufacturing USA Institutes are not currently hosting embedded MEP Center representatives in residence at their Institute locations as the result of the 2016-NIST-MEP-ENNMI-01 funding opportunity[2], and these four Manufacturing USA Institutes are:

  • America Makes, the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute,
  • Lightweight Innovations for Tomorrow (LIFT),
  • The Advanced Functional Fabrics of America (AFFOA) Institute, and
  • The Clean Energy Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute.

NIST encourages project proposals involving participation from multiple MEP Centers and multiple Manufacturing USA Institutes, as well as other collaborating entities such as local economic development organizations, universities, community colleges, technology incubator programs, and other organizations. 

An MEP Center may serve as the applicant on only one proposal There are no restrictions on the number of applications in which MEP Centers or Manufacturing USA Institutes can be proposed as collaborators, nor are there restrictions on MEP Centers receiving Round One awards serving as collaborators on projects funded pursuant to the Round Two competition.  See Section III.1. of this FFO for more information regarding program eligibility. 

Cost Sharing or Matching Requirement.  Non-federal cost share is not required for awards issued pursuant to this FFO.  Applicants are encouraged to submit proposals with budgets that maximize the application of award funding to the performance of project tasking and direct project costs.   

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.

  • October 17, 2016 – Announcement of Federal Funding Opportunity (FFO)
  • November 2, 2016 – Information Webinar Conducted
  • December 1, 2016 – Due Date for Proposals (please refer to
  • December 2016 – January 2017 – Review, Selection and Execution of Awards
  • January – Targeted Start date

Information Webinar

An information webinar was held on Wednesday, November 2, 2016. Click on the usa-buttons below to view the presentation slides and recording.

webinar recording button


MEP Resources

The following resources are currently available:

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Questions from applicants pertaining to MEP eligibility, 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 to NIST/MEP may be posted as part of an FAQ document, which will be periodically updated on this website. This FAQ is designed to provide a better understanding of the requirements of the FFO. View or download a PDF of the FAQ.


For General Information

  • MEP Headquarters
    (301) 975-5020
    100 Bureau Drive, M/S 4800
    Gaithersburg, MD 20899-4800
Created October 14, 2016, Updated November 15, 2019