UPDATE: This opportunity has closed. The execution of awards will be in June - August 2016.
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 Institutes participating in the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI). The emphasis of these Pilot Projects will be to demonstrate ways to more fully leverage the assets and resources of the national MEP Program to provide assistance to small U.S. manufacturers in technology areas that are the focus of the NNMI Institutes. These Pilots will embed personnel from MEP Centers in residence at NNMI Institutes, targeting the cultivation of enduring collaborations among small U.S. manufacturers, NNMI Institutes, and MEP Centers for the benefit of all these entities. The Pilots will accelerate the processes by which small U.S. manufacturers transition the latest and most compelling technological innovations into the manufactured goods needed by our Nation.
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-ENNMI-01.
NIST anticipates funding approximately seven (7) Pilot Project awards at a level of approximately $300,000 - $600,000 per year for each award. The Pilot Projects awarded under this FFO will have a budget and performance period of up to two (2) years. See Section II.2. of this FFO for more information regarding the availability of NIST funding for this program.
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 or more of the current NNMI Institutes. NIST encourages project proposals involving participation from multiple MEP Centers and multiple NNMI 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 NNMI Institutes can be proposed as collaborators. 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.
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.
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] nist.gov (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. To download the FAQ document, click here.