This program announcement is for projects to be conducted for a two-year period with an anticipated start date of September 1, 2016 unless otherwise directed. All public or private sources may submit to this Federal Funding Opportunity; however, partnering with universities is highly encouraged. Eligible applicants are institutions of higher education; other nonprofits; commercial organizations; state, local and Indian tribal governments; and Federal agencies. Applicants for this opportunity must work in partnership with NOAA testbeds and proving grounds (listed under www.testbeds.noaa.gov). NOAA's testbeds and proving grounds facilitate the orderly transition of research capabilities to operational implementation through development testing in testbeds, and pre-deployment testing and operational readiness/suitability evaluation in operational proving grounds. The purpose of the NOAA Research to Operations (R2O) Initiative is to expand and accelerate critical weather forecasting research to operations to address growing service demands and increase the accuracy of weather forecasts. This will be achieved through: (1) accelerated development and implementation of improved global weather prediction models and inclusion of the coupling among atmosphere, ocean, wave, land surface and ice system components; (2) improved data assimilation techniques; (3) nested regional prediction capabilities; (4) improved hurricane and tropical cyclone modeling techniques; (5) improved ensemble techniques; (6) post-processing forecast tools and techniques; and (7) improved software architecture and system engineering. The NOAA R2O Initiative is soliciting proposals for projects involving applied science, modeling and/or data assimilation that supports development of effective assimilation for environmental observations at global and regional scales, and hurricane and other high-impact weather forecast models that meet societal requirements to effectively mitigate economic disruption. This notice provides guidelines for submission of proposals. This notice also describes opportunities and application procedures to demonstrate capabilities that have the potential to be incorporated into operational NWS numerical weather prediction (NWP) analyses and forecasts. The R2O initiative addresses NOAA's Weather Ready Nation (WRN) strategic goal and supporting objectives. The Program also represents an NOAA/NWS effort to foster a cost-effective transition from basic and applied research to operations and services through collaborative research and developmental testing between institutions which have expertise in the environmental sciences and operational forecast scientists. These activities will engage researchers in applied research of interest with the operational meteorological community and will improve the accuracy of forecasts and warnings of environmental hazards by applying scientific knowledge and information to operational products and services.