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Rolling Competitive Awards Program

Back to Open Notice of Funding Opportunities

2017 Rolling Competitive Awards Program Notice of Federal Funding Opportunity (NOFO)

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) invites applications from current MEP Centers to add capabilities to the MEP Program, including the development of projects to solve new or emerging manufacturing problems, that are not already provided for under an applicant’s and its collaborating Center’s base MEP award.   Themes for FY 17 include new manufacturing technologies of relevance to small and mid-size manufacturers, particularly those related to Industry/Manufacturing 4.0 (these technologies are described more fully in Section I.1. of the NOFO; supply chain management technologies and practices; and workforce intermediary and business services.  However, so long as an application addresses the program priorities listed in Section I.2. of the NOFO, it need not focus upon any of the identified thematic areas to be considered for funding under the NOFO.

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

Please submit your proposals via www.grants.gov under Funding Opportunity Number 2017-NIST-MEP-CAP-01.

Anticipated Amounts
NIST anticipates funding individual projects at a level of approximately $50,000 to no more than $1,000,000 in total funding for each award.  Projects awarded under the NOFO will have a budget and a performance period of up to three (3) years, consistent with the multi-year funding policy described in Section II.3 of the NOFO.  Funding for awards is contingent upon the availability of appropriated funds and NIST programmatic priorities.

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

Who Is Eligible
Eligible applicants for this funding opportunity are MEP Centers receiving current cooperative agreement funding from NIST AND that, for the two consecutive quarters immediately prior to application, meet or exceed a “Cooperative Agreement Recipient (CAR) Current Quarter Performance” score of 70 as found in the quarterly release of the “CAR Operations Performance Management CARD.”  See Section III.1. of this NOFO for more information.  An MEP Center 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 or consortium.  NIST encourages project proposals involving participation from multiple MEP Centers as well as other collaborating entities such as local economic development organizations, universities, community colleges and other organizations.  MEP CAR Operations Performance Management CARDs, are released to the MEP National Network Centers on October 1st, January 1st, April 1st, and July 1st, of each Fiscal Year, and are also available via the NIST MEP’s Federal Program Officer.

An MEP Center may serve as the lead applicant on no more than three (3) awards under the MEP Competitive Awards Program within a given fiscal year. There are no restrictions on the number of applications in which MEP Centers can be proposed as collaborators. See Section III.1. of the NOFO for more information regarding program eligibility.

The NIST Director also consulted with small and medium-sized manufacturers through the publication in the Federal Register of a Request for Information (RFI) on identification of New Capabilities Needed by the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Program (see 81 FR 90326 (December 2016).  The Federal Register along with the information received by NIST is available at https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2016/12/14/2016-30009/request-for-information-on-identification-of-new-capabilities-needed-by-the-hollings-manufacturing. You can also view the RFI responses.

Cost Sharing Requirements 
Non-federal cost share is not required for awards issued pursuant to the NOFO.

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 17, 2017 – Publication of Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) in Grants.gov
  • April 27, 2017 – Information Webinar scheduled
  • June 15, 2017, 11:59 pm EST, Thursday – Proposals received on or before this date would be considered for FY2017 funding. Proposals received after this date would be processed and considered for this year or next fiscal year funding. (please refer to http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=289535)
  • June to August 2017 – Review, Selection and Execution of Awards
  • September 2017 – Targeted Start date

MEP Resources
The following resources are currently available:

Webinar Information Session
An information webinar was held on April 27, 2017. Participation in the webinar(s) is not required in order for an organization to submit an application pursuant to the NOFO. You can view the presentation slides or watch the recorded webinar below.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). Questions from applicants pertaining to NOFO eligibility, evaluation criteria and selection factors, selection process, and the general characteristics of a competitive proposal will not be considered on an informal basis. Applicants must submit all such questions in writing to mepnofo@nist.gov. Answers to such written questions submitted to NIST MEP may be made available to the public as part of an FAQ document, which will be periodically updated on this page.

Contacts

For General Information

  • MEP Headquarters
    (301) 975-5020
    100 Bureau Drive, M/S 4800
    Gaithersburg, MD 20899-4800
Created March 15, 2017, Updated November 15, 2019