The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is soliciting proposals to establish a new Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) center in Nebraska. The award will provide up to $600,000 for one year, to help the state's small- and medium-sized manufacturers enhance their productivity, innovative capacity, technological performance and global competitiveness.
U.S.-based nonprofit institutions or organizations, including universities, state and local governments and existing MEP centers are eligible to submit a proposal. An eligible organization may work individually or form a team with other organizations. All proposals must be received no later than 5 p.m. Eastern time on June 10, 2013, for paper submissions or 11:59 p.m. Eastern time for electronic submissions.
At least 50 percent of the new center's first-year budget must come from sources other than the federal government. This mandatory cost-share increases after the third annual renewal, up to a maximum two-thirds of the center's budget for year five and beyond.
The Nebraska center will become part of the existing network of more than 400 MEP centers and field offices that provide services to manufacturers in all 50 states and Puerto Rico. The centers provide services by using the most cost effective, local, leveraged resources through the coordinated efforts of a regionally based MEP center and local technology resources. The management and operational structure of each MEP center is based on the characteristics of the manufacturers in the region and locally available resources with demonstrated experience working with manufacturers.
As a public-private partnership, MEP delivers a high return on investment to taxpayers. For every one dollar of federal investment, the MEP generates nearly $20 in new sales growth and $20 in new client investment. This translates into $2.5 billion in new sales annually. For every $2,100 of federal investment, MEP creates or retains one manufacturing job.
Additional information on the application process is available in the notice of Federal Funding Opportunity posted at Grants.gov (www.grants.gov/) under Funding Opportunity Number 2013-NIST-MEP-NE-01. The Federal Register notice concerning this solicitation was published on April 9, 2013, and is available at www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-04-09/pdf/2013-08232.pdf.
NIST MEP will hold an information webinar for organizations considering applying to this opportunity on April 30, 2013, at 2 p.m. Eastern time. Please contact Diane Henderson at diane.henderson [at] nist.gov to register for the webinar. More information is available on the NIST MEP website: www.nist.gov/mep.