The Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology is providing $2.6 million to fund the Alabama Technology Network, Birmingham, for its second year of operation. ATN is part of the NIST Manufacturing Extension Partnership, a nationwide network of centers offering technical and business assistance to smaller manufacturers.
NIST's decision to continue funding ATN followed a review by NIST of the center's knowledge of the region's smaller manufacturers, its technology and business resources, technology delivery mechanisms, and management and financial plan. Other funding is provided by the state of Alabama, through the University of Alabama System, and Auburn University.
ATN serves firms throughout Alabama via 10 regional centers. Services provided include industrial outreach and needs assessments, problem solving, training and education, business/management assistance, and technology applications research.
Results of ongoing surveys confirm that MEP services--delivered to almost 56,000 firms since 1989--are yielding sizable benefits. For example, a recent sampleof 2,071 client companies around the country reported that, as a result of MEP services, they:
News and general information on the MEP are available on the Internet's World Wide Web at http://www.mep.nist.gov. Smaller manufacturers can call 800-MEP-4MFG (800-637-4634) to reach the MEP center serving their area.
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.