The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) today announced a competition for grants to support new or existing industry-driven consortia to develop research plans that address high-priority challenges impeding the growth of advanced manufacturing in the United States.
NIST's new Advanced Manufacturing Technology Consortia (AMTech) Program anticipates awarding $4 million in two-year planning grants in fiscal year 2013. Grants will range between about $250,000 and $500,000, subject to the availability of funds.
Nonprofit U.S. organizations as well as accredited institutions of higher education and state, tribal and local governments are eligible to apply for the program. Teaming and partnerships that include broad participation by companies of all sizes, universities and government agencies, driven by industry, are encouraged.
Funded by Congress this fiscal year, AMTech will spur consortia-planned and led research on long-term, pre-competitive industrial research needs. The program aims to eliminate barriers to advanced manufacturing and to promote domestic development of an underpinning technology infrastructure.
AMTech is designed to address an economically damaging weakness in the nation's so-called innovation ecosystem, an issue identified by the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC), the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, and other bodies.
According to the NSTC, there is a gap between R&D activities and the deployment of technological innovations in the domestic production of goods, which is contributing significantly, for example, to the growing trade deficit in high-value-added, advanced-technology products.
Once fully implemented, it is envisioned that AMTech will provide funding in two broad areas: planning awards and implementation awards. In FY 2013, NIST will fund planning awards only. In the future, AMTech may provide funding opportunities that help to support activities that advance the research agenda.
Full details of the solicitation, including eligibility requirements, selection criteria, legal requirements and the mechanism for submitting proposals are found in an announcement of Federal Funding Opportunity (FFO) posted at Grants.gov under funding opportunity number 2013-NIST-AMTECH-01.
Applications will only be accepted through the Grants.gov website. The deadline for full applications is 11:59 p.m. Eastern time, Oct. 21, 2013.
NIST will host two webinars on the AMTech funding opportunity on August 15, 2013, and on August 20, 2013, at 2:00 p.m. Eastern time. The events will offer guidance on the AMTech program and preparing proposals and will provide an opportunity to answer questions from the public about the program. Participation in the free event is not required to apply, but participants are required to register in advance. Registration forms are available online (link removed; no longer active) (Aug. 15) and (link removed; no longer active) (Aug. 20). Further details are available at www.nist.gov/amo.