The Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology today announced 17 projects to receive cost-shared funding to help the nation's smaller manufacturers reduce or eliminate pollution sources in their operations.
"More efficient use of materials and better management practices will help smaller manufacturers be both environmentally sound and competitive," said Commerce Secretary Ronald H. Brown. "This is one more example of how the Commerce Department's Manufacturing Extension Partnership is playing a vital role in helping America's small and medium-sized companies adopt modern technologies, enabling them to grow and prosper and create jobs," added Brown.
The awards are for projects in the following three areas:
Coordinated by NIST's MEP, in cooperation with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the projects will leverage the locations and resources of the non-profit manufacturing extension centers. "The goal of this program is to help smaller manufacturers solve environmental concerns in the most-cost effective manner before they become problems requiring regulatory action," said Kevin Carr, acting director of NIST's MEP. "Using MEP's network is a great way to make environmental information and assistance readily accessible to smaller manufacturers," said Carr.
Last January, NIST solicited proposals for projects in the three areas and received 42. Federal funding from NIST and EPA for the 17 projects selected totals about $6.1 million. To leverage federal resources, cost-shared funding totals $3.7 million. Descriptions of the 17 projects are attached.
As a non-regulatory agency of the Commerce Department's Technology Administration, NIST promotes U.S. economic growth by working with industry to develop and apply technology, measurements and standards. MEP's network of 60 locally managed centers in 42 states, plus Puerto Rico, provides services and support to give smaller manufacturers access to new technologies, resources and expertise.