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Advanced Technology Program Opens Competitions in Key Technology Fields

The Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology today announced the opening of Advanced Technology Program competitions for R&D; awards in two key technology areas. Approximately $10 million to $15 million is available for each program in first-year, cost-shared funding for the multi-year awards, which support the development by private industry of innovative, high-risk technologies with the potential for important, broad-based economic benefits for the United States.

The competitions will support ongoing ATP focused programs in Information Infrastructure for Healthcare and Motor Vehicle Manufacturing Technology. ATP focused programs are directed at specific technical and business goals in broad technology areas to be reached within a specific time typically about five years. These goals generally require the parallel development of a suite of interlocking R&D; projects.

The two new ATP competitions are:

  • Information Infrastructure for Healthcare First competed in 1994, this program focuses on the development of advanced information technologies to enable more efficient information systems tailored to the special needs of the nation's healthcare industry. Conservative estimates indicate that 20 percent of today's healthcare costs are related to the processing of information. Using effective information technology systems in the healthcare industry can deliver substantial cost savings while also strengthening an important sector of our industry. The new competition emphasizes infrastructure development technologies (tools for business process modeling; total quality management; enterprise integration; domain analysis; and verification and validation) and user interface and efficiency-enhancement technologies (information access, transmission, storage, and retrieval; multimedia information; security and privacy; and mobile and collaborative computing).
  • Motor Vehicle Manufacturing Technology First competed in 1995, this ATP focused program fosters innovations in manufacturing practices that could slash time-to-market to 24 months, markedly better than even the best times logged to date by foreign or domestic car makers. The program concentrates on four major technical areas that underpin significant improvements in capabilities and performance: material forming processes, material removal processes, assembly processes, and systems integration. The new competition emphasizes innovative manufacturing technologies that can strengthen capabilities and lead to dramatic advances along the entire automotive production chain, including more versatile equipment, better control and integration of processes, and greater operational flexibility at all levels.

Deadline for submission of proposals to either competition is 3 p.m. Eastern time, April 30, 1997. Details of the competitions were published today on CBDNet (, the electronic listings of Commerce Business Daily. (The notice will appear within a few days in the printed version of Commerce Business Daily.)

ATP awards are designed to help industry pursue risky, challenging technologies that have the potential for a big pay-off for the nation's economy. ATP projects focus on enabling technologies that will create opportunities for new, world-class products, services and industrial processes, benefiting not just the ATP participants but other companies and industries and ultimately consumers and taxpayers. The ATP's cost-shared funding enables industry to pursue promising technologies that otherwise would be ignored or developed too slowly to compete in rapidly changing world markets.

Both individual, for-profit companies and consortia including at least two for-profit companies may qualify for ATP awards. Universities, non-profit independent research organizations and federal laboratories also may participate as partners or sub-contractors in consortia. Projects may run for up to three years for individual companies or up to five years for joint ventures. Proposed projects must focus on the development of high-risk, enabling technologies that underlie potential products, industrial processes or services. The ATP will not support product development work.

To provide potential applicants with general information on the ATP, proposal selection criteria, the proposal evaluation process and other information, the ATP will sponsor a public meeting on Feb. 13, 1997, at the Gaithersburg (Md.) Hilton. Breakout sessions will provide details on the individual focused program competitions.

Attendance at this Proposers' Conference is not required to participate in the ATP competitions. Additional Proposers' Conferences covering specific focused program competitions may be scheduled. Check the ATP's toll-free number or World Wide Web site for announcements of any future meetings.

In addition, the ATP has scheduled a series of Proposers' Conferences around the country to support a previously announced ATP General Competition. Potential applicants to either of the two focused-program competitions may attend one of these meetings, scheduled for:

  • Boston, Mass. Jan. 6
  • San Francisco, Calif. Jan. 6
  • Chicago, Ill. Jan. 8
  • Phoenix, Ariz. Jan. 8
  • Atlanta, Ga. Jan. 10
  • Kansas City, Mo. Jan. 10
  • Gaithersburg, Md. Jan. 13

The format and content of all seven meetings will be the same.

Information on the Gaithersburg, Md., public meeting (and eventually, the details on subsequent meetings), the ATP 1997 competitions (both the focused and previously announced general) and copies of the ATP Proposal Preparation Kit may be obtained from the ATP by phone: 1-800-ATP-FUND, fax: (301) 926-9524, or e-mail: atp [at] (atp[at]nist[dot]gov). Additional information also may be obtained on the Internet from the ATP World Wide Web site:

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.

Released December 23, 1996, Updated November 27, 2017