The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has announced a 2009 competition for multiyear research funding in two major areas of national interest, civil infrastructure and advanced materials in manufacturing, under its Technology Innovation Program (TIP). TIP expects to provide cost-shared funding for approximately 25 new R&D projects.
Approximately $15 million in first-year funding is allocated for R&D projects in manufacturing that would enable better, more cost-effective use of advanced materials in innovative products. The competition is limited to technologies for nanomaterials; composites and superalloys, alloys; and smart materials, the three classes of materials considered most critical to potential growth areas for manufacturing. TIP is seeking proposals for new technologies for predictive modeling to enable improved material properties and better process design tools; and for improved methods to scale up advanced materials production from laboratory processes and to integrate advanced materials into products.
Approximately $10 million in first-year funding is allocated for projects addressing two specific needs in civil infrastructure. The first is a continuing need for innovative, cost-effective sensor and sensor-network technologies for non-destructive testing and monitoring of the structural health of major infrastructure components. This competition emphasizes technologies to detect corrosion, cracking, delamination and other structural damage in water resources systems such as water and wastewater pipelines, dams, levees and waterway locks, as well as bridges and roadways. The second focus is the need for new technologies for repair and retrofit and deals with how to do a better job repairing and upgrading existing structures. The emphasis is on practical technologies—including both novel materials and cost-effective methods for installing them—that would provide enhanced performance or longer service life than existing repair and retrofit materials and practices.
TIP promotes technological innovation by providing funding support to challenging, high-risk research projects that address critical national needs. The merit-based, competitive program can fund R&D projects by single small-sized or medium-sized businesses or by joint ventures that also may include institutions of higher education, nonprofit research organizations and national laboratories. TIP awards are limited to no more than $3 million total over three years for a single company project and no more than $9 million total over five years for a joint venture.
The due date for submission of proposals to the 2009 competition is 3 p.m. EDT, Tuesday, June 23, 2009. Proposals may be submitted electronically through Grants.gov (search for Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) program 11-616 or Funding Opportunity Number 2009-TIP-01) or on paper to National Institute of Standards and Technology, Technology Innovation Program, 100 Bureau Drive, Stop 4701, Gaithersburg, MD 20899-4701. Review, selection and award processing is expected to be completed by the end of November 2009.
NIST will offer four public meetings for prospective TIP proposers and other interested parties to provide general information regarding TIP and the competition process, including eligibility and cost-sharing requirements, evaluation and award criteria, the selection process, and the general characteristics of a competitive TIP proposal. Proprietary technical discussions about specific project ideas will not be discussed.
The four TIP "Proposers' Conferences will be held:
- on April 8, 2009, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. EDT, at the NIST facility in Gaithersburg, Md.;
- on April 13, 2009, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., EDT, at the Boston Marriott Cambridge, Two Cambridge Center, 50 Broadway, Cambridge, Mass., in the Greater Boston area;
- on April 15, 2009, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., EDT, in the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center, 400 Renaissance Center, Detroit, Mich.; and
- on April 17, 2009, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. PDT, at the San Jose Marriott, 301 S. Market St., San Jose, Calif.
Registration information for the April 8 meeting at NIST is available at www.nist.gov/public_affairs/confpage/090408.htm. No pre-registration is required for the other three meetings. The April 8 meeting also will be webcast. Viewers can go to www.ebmcdn.net/nist/flash/nist-040809.html at the time of the meeting to observe the presentations.
Additional sources of information on this competition include:
- the news release announcing the 2009 TIP competition at www.nist.gov/public_affairs/releases/20090326_tip_2009_comp_announce.htm;
- the full Federal Funding Opportunity (FFO) announcement, available at Grants.gov or the TIP Web site at www.nist.gov/tip/helpful.html;
- the competition white paper on "Accelerating the Incorporation of Materials Advances into Manufacturing Processes" available at www.nist.gov/tip/comp_09/white_papers/manuf_wp_032009.pdf;
- the competition white paper "Advanced Sensing Technologies and Advanced Repair Materials for the Infrastructure: Water Systems, Dams, Levees, Bridges, Roads, and Highways" available at www.nist.gov/tip/comp_09/white_papers/ci_wp_031909.pdf;
- the March 2009 Technology Innovation Program Proposal Preparation Kit (required for submitting a TIP proposal) available at www.nist.gov/tip/helpful.html; and
- additional information on the Technology Innovation Program at www.nist.gov/tip.