Manufacturing Extension Partnership
Enhance competitiveness, productivity, and technological performance in United States manufacturing. Establish, maintain, and support Manufacturing Extension Centers and services, the functions of which are to improve the competitiveness of firms by accelerating the usage of appropriate manufacturing technology by smaller U.S. based manufacturing firms, and partner with the States in developing such technical assistance programs and services for their manufacturing base.
General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
National Institute of Standards and Technology (Nist), Department of Commerce
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
B - Project Grants; L - Dissemination of Technical Information
15 U.S.C. 278k
15 U.S.C. 278k-1
15 U.S.C. 278l
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
For MEP Center projects under 15 U.S.C. SS 278k, eligible applicants shall be U.S.-based nonprofit institutions or organizations or a consortium thereof; institutions of higher education; or a State, U.S. territory, local or tribal government, or groups thereof. Applicants must contribute at least 50 percent of the proposed service's capital, annual operating and maintenance costs. For competitive awards under 15 U.S.C. SS 278k-1, eligible applicants are existing MEP Centers. For extension service planning and pilot services agreements under 15 U.S.C. SS 278l, eligible applicants shall be State governments or State- affiliated nonprofit organizations. For multi-state regional planning and pilot services agreements, eligible applicants shall be State and local governments, representing either themselves or a consortium of States, or appropriate private or public nonprofit organizations, operating on behalf of a consortium of States or as a representative of States.
Beneficiary shall be U.S.-based manufacturing firms, especially smaller companies.
An applicant for Manufacturing Extension Center must submit a proposal in accordance with the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO), which requires that applicants provide assurance that they will contribute 50 percent or more of the proposed Center's capital, annual operating and maintenance costs. Proposals also must contain sufficient information regarding management, technical, and technology strengths sufficient for a formal merit review of the proposal in accordance with the requirements set forth in the applicable NOFO. Applicants must have and demonstrate competence in areas for which financial assistance is requested. Costs will be determined in accordance with applicable cost principles found in 2 CFR 200 - Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Preapplication coordination is required. The extension service planning and pilot testing portion of this program is eligible for coverage under E.O. 12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs". An applicant should consult the office or official designated as the single point of contact in his or her State for more information on the process the State requires to be followed in applying for assistance, if the State has selected the program for review. For Manufacturing Extension Centers there is no formal preapplication process. Environmental impact information is not required for the MEP Center program. The MEP Center program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372.
2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. Applicants must submit proposals in accordance with deadlines and other details as published in formal program announcements including Standard Form 424 and Commerce Department Form 511. Applicants for Manufacturing Extension Centers must follow the format set out in the applicable Federal Register Notice and accompanying Notice of Funding Opportunity. Applicants for other programs must follow the format set out in the applicable Notice of Funding Opportunity.
All timely submitted and qualified proposals are reviewed by a NIST selection panel. For proposals for Manufacturing Extension Centers, the finalists' proposals are selected on the basis of published evaluation criteria, and may undergo a site visit. For proposals for competitive awards, proposals are selected on the basis of published evaluation criteria, and may undergo a site visit. For proposals for extension services planning and pilot testing, proposals are selected on the basis of published evaluation criteria.
Contact the headquarters or regional location, as appropriate for application deadlines
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
From 60 to 90 days. Consult the applicable Federal Register Notice and/or Notice of Funding Opportunity or contact the MEP headquarters for application deadlines.
For MEP Centers, future or continued funding will be based on availability of funds, on satisfactory performance, and are subject to re-competition every ten (10) years. Other awards are not eligible for renewal.
How are proposals selected?
Proposals are selected on the basis of merit. For MEP Centers, selection criteria are published in the Federal Register Notice and accompanying Notice of Funding Opportunity. For other programs, selection criteria are published in the Notice of Funding Opportunity.
How may assistance be used?
Federal funding provided under this program shall be used for the creation and support of manufacturing extension centers (MEP Centers), or used by the States to plan for and pilot test statewide extension services. It may also be used to plan for and pilot test services within a multistate region which has sufficient regional linkages to justify such services. Extension service providers shall be affiliated with a U.S. based nonprofit institution or organization, or a consortium thereof; institution of higher education; or a State, U.S. territory, local or tribal government. Funds may be used for the purpose of demonstrations, technology deployment, active transfer and dissemination of research findings and extension service expertise to a wide range of companies and enterprises, especially small manufacturers with fewer than 500 employees. Congressional funding has been provided annually since fiscal year 1988 (under Manufacturing Technology Centers and the State Technology Extension Program, which were combined into the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership in fiscal year 1993).
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Each awardee receives an annual performance review prior to renewal of federal funding. In addition, 15 USC 278k requires each awardee to be reviewed by an external panel during years three and six and every two years thereafter.
In accordance with the provisions of 2 CFR 200, Subpart F - Audit Requirements, non-Federal entities that expend financial assistance of $750,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Non-Federal entities that expend less than $750,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in 2 CFR 200.503.
All financial and programmatic records of awardees or subawardees are required to be retained in accordance with 2 CFR 200.333.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory Formula: Chapter 15 Part 278
Matching is voluntary. For MEP Center projects under 15 U.S.C. § 278k, applicants must contribute at least 50 percent of the proposed service's capital, annual operating and maintenance costs. For competitive awards under 15 U.S.C. § 278k-1, there is not a matching share requirement. For extension service planning and pilot services agreements under 15 U.S.C. § 278l, there is not a matching requirement.
MOE requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
For extension service planning and pilottesting agreements, one year. For Manufacturing Extension Centers, duration of support is up to 10 years, based upon continued positive evaluations in accordance with 15 U.S.C. § 278k(g). For competitive awards, up to three years. On a reimbursable basis as expenses are incurred by the center.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
100 Bureau Drive Stop 4800
Gaithersburg, MD 20899-4800 US
(Cooperative Agreements) FY 18$122,570,000.00; FY 19 est $125,275,000.00; FY 20 est $0.00; FY 17$124,845,000.00; FY 16$121,363,000.00; - Dissemination of Technical Information
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
Individual awards for extension service planning and pilot testing and special project agreements generally range between $25,000 and $100,000. Awards for Manufacturing Extension Centers generally range between of $500,000 to $15,000,000 annually. Competitive awards generally range between $500,000 and $1,000,000 annually.
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
Program regulations are codified at 15 CFR 290-92. A Federal Register Notice and accompanying Notice of Funding Opportunity announcing the request for proposals from qualified organizations will be published when funds are available.
Examples of Funded Projects