The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is seeking proposals for a new Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) center in Florida. The award will provide up to $3.5 million for the first 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. 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 Florida center will become part of a national system of extension service providers, comprising more than 400 centers and field offices throughout the United 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 $19 in new sales growth and $21 in new client investment. This translates into $2.2 billion in new sales annually. For every $1,978 of federal investment, MEP creates or retains one manufacturing job.
Full details on the application process, including eligibility requirements and deadlines are available in the notice of Federal Funding Opportunity (FFO) posted at Grants.gov (www.grants.gov) under Funding Opportunity Number 2014-NIST-MEP-FL-01. The Federal Register notice concerning this solicitation also was published on Feb. 28 and is available at https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-04475. All proposals must be received no later than May 14, 2014.
NIST MEP will hold an information webinar for organizations considering applying to this opportunity approximately 14 business days after posting of the FFO and publication in the Federal Register. 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.