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NIST Announces Funding Opportunities for MEP Centers in Four States

Awards available in Kentucky, Nebraska, Rhode Island and South Dakota

Published: Wednesday, March 23, 2022 - 12:21

(NIST: Gaithersburg, Maryland) — The U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is accepting applications from eligible organizations to operate Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) centers in Kentucky, Nebraska, Rhode Island and South Dakota. NIST will award nearly $19.8 million to support four centers that will provide manufacturing extension services to small and medium-size manufacturers in these states.

“American manufacturing makes our nation stronger by growing the U.S. economy, safeguarding the health of our citizens, and securing our national defense,” said Mojdeh Bahar, NIST associate director for innovation and industry services. “Small and medium-sized manufacturers are the foundation of American manufacturing, and these competitions will serve to strengthen manufacturing and empower manufacturers in Kentucky, Nebraska, Rhode Island and South Dakota.”

NIST’s Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership supports 51 centers located in all 50 states and Puerto Rico. Through the program, more than 1,400 manufacturing experts provide hands-on technical expertise and assistance services that address the critical needs of their local manufacturers and strengthen U.S. manufacturing.

NIST plans to award up to the following amounts for centers in each state:
• Kentucky: $6,217,500
• Nebraska: $3,978,500
• Rhode Island: $6,021,500
• South Dakota: $3,561,000

Awardees will sign a cooperative agreement for an initial performance period of up to five years and must meet a cost-share requirement.

Excellent ROI

For every dollar of federal investment in fiscal year 2021, the MEP centers in these four states generated more than $20.90 in new sales growth and $25.70 in new client investment. This translates into $275 million in new and retained sales. During this same time, for every $1,143 of federal investment, MEP created or retained one manufacturing job.

Eligible applicants are limited to U.S.-based nonprofit institutions or consortia thereof, institutions of higher education, or state, U.S. territory, local, or tribal governments. Existing MEP centers that have received financial assistance for 10 consecutive years and that the secretary of commerce determines are in good standing are also eligible to apply.

MEP center awards must be recompeted every 10 years for an award of up to 10 years, based on availability of the appropriation of federal funds and the good standing of the applicant. The MEP centers in these four states are each nearing 10 consecutive years of operation.

Additional information about this funding opportunity can be found on Grants.gov and the NIST MEP website. NIST MEP held a webinar on Nov. 22, 2021, in anticipation of this and additional funding opportunities; you can view it here.

Applications in response to this notice of funding opportunity must be received no later than 11:59 p.m. EDT, Tuesday, April 26, 2022.

Published January 26, 2022, on NIST news blog


About The Author

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Founded in 1901, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is a nonregulatory federal agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce. Headquartered in Gaithersburg, Maryland, NIST’s mission is to promote U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards, and technology in ways that enhance economic security and improve our quality of life.