The Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology today announced the opening of its 1999 competition to choose innovative industrial R&D projects for cost-sharing support under the Advanced Technology Program.
The ATP expects to have approximately $66 million available in fiscal year 1999 for first-year funding of new projects that potentially offer broad-based economic benefits for the nation. Based on previous competitions, this would be expected to initiate innovative R&D projects with a joint industry/government investment of from $300 million to $450 million through 2003.
Commerce Secretary William M. Daley said, "Many industry groups have worked through the ATP focused program process to develop R&D plans that identify those high-risk research areas where industry collaboration with the ATP can produce valuable technology advances for the United States. I would like to see them bring their proposals to the table in this competition. A new competition structure this year will help ensure that each proposal will be carefully evaluated in competition with other proposals from the same technology area."
The competition announcement appears in today’s online edition of Commerce Business Daily. This year, to simplify the application procedure and encourage the broadest possible participation by industry, the ATP is conducting a single large competition rather than several competitions in different technology areas. The ATP will establish several independent technology-specific selection boards and assign each project proposal for review by the board most qualified to evaluate the proposal’s merits.
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.
The ATP has established a base line of $2,721 million in annual corporate revenues (including parent companies and related subsidiaries) to classify a company as a "large company" for purposes of ATP competitions in FY 1999. Under ATP rules 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 annual total costs of the project.
The deadline for full proposals to the 1999 ATP competition is 3 p.m. Eastern time on Wednesday, April 14, 1999. Starting this year, the ATP will accept abbreviated pre-proposals throughout the year and provide feedback to applicants as to the suitability of the proposed project. The ATP suggests, however, that pre-proposals be submitted no later than two months prior to the deadline for full proposals to allow enough time to incorporate the feedback comments in the formal proposal. [Details of this optional pre-proposal process may be found in the ATP Proposal Preparation Kit.]
NIST will host two public meetings for potential proposers and other interested parties to review general information on the 1999 competition, the selection process, and ATP rules and procedures. Proposers are not required to attend these meetings. The meetings will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 1998, at the NIST site in Gaithersburg, Md., and on Monday, Jan. 11, 1999, in California at the San Francisco Marriott Fisherman’s Wharf. No registration fee will be charged. To register, call (800) 287-3863.
Further information on the Advanced Technology Program, including copies of the new ATP Proposal Preparation Kit (dated November 1998) and the competition announcement, is available from the ATP web site at www.atp.nist.gov, by sending email to atp [at] nist.gov, by calling (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 U.S. Department of Commerce's Technology Administration, NIST promotes economic growth by working with industry to develop and apply technology, measurements and standards through four partnerships: the Measurement and Standards Laboratories, the Advanced Technology Program, the Manufacturing Extension Partnership and the Baldrige National Quality Program.