The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) plans to publish a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) in fiscal year 2017 (FY17), subject to the availability of appropriated funding, to competitively fund grants and/or cooperative agreements (hereinafter referred to as awards) to existing Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Centers to add capabilities to the MEP program, including the development and conduct of projects to solve new or emerging manufacturing problems. This notice is not the NOFO; 15 U.S.C. § 287k(f), the statute under which NIST expects to conduct the future award program, requires the NIST Director to consult with small and mid-sized manufacturers regarding their needs and, in turn, for NIST to use the information provided to develop one or more themes for future NOFOs, which will be disseminated through www.grants.gov. Through this notice, NIST requests information from small and medium-sized U.S. manufacturers related to the needs of such manufacturers in four areas: (1) critical manufacturing technologies; (2) supply chain requirements; (3) potential business services, including information services; and (4) other technologies or services that would enhance global competition. In addition, NIST requests responses related to other critical issues that NIST should consider in its strategic planning for potential future NOFOs to be conducted pursuant to the authority contained in 15 U.S.C. § 278k(f).
The responses to the questions identified within the FRN are intended to assist NIST in developing one or more NOFOs for the funding of competitive awards to existing MEP Centers to add capabilities to the MEP program. In addition, the NIST Director is fulfilling the consultation requirement contained in 15 U.S.C. § 278k(f)(3) via publication of this request for information. As required by the same statutory provision, the NIST Director will also consult with the MEP Advisory Board concerning topics for the future NOFO. Further information on the MEP Advisory Board is available at: https://www.nist.gov/mep/who-we-are/advisory-board. To view the FRN, click here.
Response to this request for information (RFI) is voluntary. Respondents need not reply to all questions; however, they should clearly indicate the number of each question to which they are responding. Brevity is appreciated. No confidential proprietary information, business identifiable information or personally identifiable information should be submitted in response to this RFI, as all responses received by the deadline may be made publicly available without change at: www.nist.gov/mep. Please note that the U.S. Government will not pay for response preparation, or for the use of any information contained in the response. Responses should be typed using 12-point font and be single-spaced. Responses containing references, studies, research, and other empirical data that are not widely published may include copies of the referenced materials as attachments to the responses.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Questions from the public pertaining to this FRN must be submitted in writing to meprfi [at] nist.gov (subject: Request%20for%20Information) (meprfi[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.