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President Announces Eight New Advanced Technology Competitions For 1998

President Clinton and Commerce Secretary William M. Daley today announced the opening of eight new competitions to support innovative, cost-shared industrial research and development under the department’s Advanced Technology Program.

The announcement marks the first round of ATP competitions for FY 1998. They include the 1998 general competition (open to proposals from all areas of technology) and seven focused program competitions covering three existing ATP program areas— Catalysis and Biocatalysis Technology, Digital Video in Information Networks, and Tools for DNA Diagnostics—and four new programs—Microelectronics Manufacturing Infrastructure, Selective-Membrane Platforms, Photonics Manufacturing and Premium Power. The ATP is managed by the Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology.

In remarks at today’s ceremony for winners of the National Medals of Science and Technology, Clinton said, "These investments will help to usher in a new era of discovery we can only dream of today."

Secretary Daley said, "These competitions begin a new period in the evolution of the Advanced Technology Program, reflecting steps that we have taken to strengthen this program and to provide more stable funding for ATP industry-government partnerships. The result will be exciting new research projects on challenging technologies with the promise of broad-based benefits to the economy."

The competition announcements appear in today’s issue of Commerce Business Daily. In a related document in Monday’s Federal Register, the ATP announced that it would have approximately $82 million available in fiscal year 1998 for first-year funding of new projects. The ATP may announce additional competitions later in FY 1998.

The Advanced Technology Program provides funding on a cost-shared basis to industry to carry out research and development on high-risk, high-payoff emerging and enabling technologies. The program concentrates on those technologies that offer significant, broad-based benefits to the nation’s economy but that are not likely to be developed in a timely fashion without the ATP’s support because of the technical risks involved. The subjects of the ATP research projects are proposed by industry. Awards are made on the basis of announced competitions that consider the technical and business merits of the proposed projects.

ATP focused programs, established in response to specific suggestions from industry and academia, identify specific sets of research and business goals that require the parallel development of a suite of interlocking R&D projects.

Monday’s Federal Register notice also establishes a base line of $2,578 million in annual corporate revenues to classify a company as a "large company" for purposes of ATP competitions in FY 1998. Under ATP rules adopted this year, large companies or their subsidiaries, competing for an ATP award as a single company, must provide cost-share funding of at least 60 percent of the total project costs for each calendar quarter of the project.

The competition deadlines for the eight competitions announced today are:

  • General Competition: Full proposals due by March 18.
  • Catalysis & Biocatalysis: Optional pre-proposals due by February 27, full proposals due by April 22.
  • Digital Video: Optional pre-proposals due by February 27, full proposals due by April 22.
  • Microelectronics Manufacturing: Optional pre-proposals due by February 27, full proposals due by April 8.
  • Photonics Manufacturing: Optional pre-proposals due by February 27, full proposals due by April 8.
  • Premium Power: Optional pre-proposals due by February 27, full proposals due by April 8.
  • Selective-Membrane Platforms: Optional pre-proposals due by February 27, full proposals due by April 22.
  • Tools for DNA Diagnostics: Full proposals due by March 18.

NIST will host a series of regional public meetings to provide general information on the 1998 competitions, the selection process, and ATP rules and procedures for potential proposers who may be unfamiliar with the program. Proposers are not required to attend these meetings.

The meeting locations and dates are:

  • Gaithersburg, Md., and Boulder, Colo. Thursday, January 15

These two meetings will be linked by video teleconferencing and will be held at the NIST laboratory sites in each city.

  • Seattle, Wash. (Crowne Plaza Hotel) Wednesday, January 21
  • Austin, Texas (Austin Chariot Resort Inn) Wednesday, January 21
  • Orlando, Fla. (Adam’s Mark Orlando) Wednesday, January 21
  • Los Angeles, Calif. (The Quality Hotel, Los Angeles Airport) Friday, January 23
  • Rosemont, Ill. (Holiday Inn O’Hare International) Friday, January 23
  • Windsor Locks, Conn. (Sheraton Bradley Hotel) Friday, January 23

Further information on the Advanced Technology Program, including copies of the new ATP Proposal Preparation Kit (dated December 1997), ATP Federal Register notices and the competition announcements are available from the ATP World Wide Web site at, by sending email to atp [at] (atp[at]nist[dot]gov), by calling 1-800-ATP-FUND (1-800-287-3863), or by faxing a request to (301) 926-9524 or (301) 590-3053.

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.

Released December 16, 1997, Updated November 27, 2017