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

credit:
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.

Agency - Department of Commerce

The Department of Commerce fosters and promotes the nation's economic development and technological advancement through vigilance in international trade policy, domestic business policy and growth, and promoting economic progress at all levels.


Relevant Nonprofit Program Categories





Program Accomplishments

Not Applicable.

Uses and Use Restrictions

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).

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

For MEP Center projects under 15 U.S.C.

§ 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.

§ 278k-1, eligible applicants are existing MEP Centers.

For extension service planning and pilot services agreements under 15 U.S.C.

§ 278leligible applicants shall be State governments or State- affiliated nonprofit organizations.

For multi­state 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 Eligibility

Beneficiary shall be U.S.-based manufacturing firms, especially smaller companies.

Credentials/Documentation

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. 2 CFR 200, Subpart E - Cost Principles applies to this program.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

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.

Environmental impact information is not required for this program.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.

12372.

Application Procedures

2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. 2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards apply 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 Notice of Funding Opportunity.

Award Procedures

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 criterion.

Deadlines

Contact the headquarters or regional office, as appropriate, for application deadlines.

Authorization

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Act, 15 U.S.C. § 271 et seq., as amended by the American Innovation and Competitiveness Act (AICA), Public Law 114-329 , 15 U.S.C 278K; America Competes, Public Law 110-69.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

From 60 to 90 days. Consult the applicable Notice of Funding Opportunity or contact the MEP headquarters for application deadlines.

Appeals

Not Applicable.

Renewals

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.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

Statutory Formula: Chapter 15, Part 278. A State may be required to provide adequate assurances that it will increase its spending on technology extension by an amount at least equal to the amount of Federal assistance requested. For manufacturing extension centers, the program has no statutory formula. Matching Requirements: 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. This program does not have MOE requirements.

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. See the following for information on how assistance is awarded/released: On a reimbursable basis as expenses are incurred by the center.

Post Assistance Requirements

Reports

Quarterly progress and semiannual financial reports are required.

Quarterly progress and financial reports are required.

Each request for reimbursement must be accompanied by a report of applicant's cost-share contribution.

Quarterly progress and financial reports are required.

Each request for reimbursement must be accompanied by a report of applicant's cost-share contribution.

Quarterly progress and financial reports are required.

Each request for reimbursement must be accompanied by a report of applicant's cost-share contribution.

Each awardee receives an annual performance review prior to renewal of federal funding.

In addition, 15 USCS 278k requires each awardee to be reviewed by an external panel during years three and six and every two years thereafter.

Audits

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. In accordance with the provisions of 2 CFR 200, Subpart F ­ Audit Requirements, non­Federal entities that expend financial assistance of $750,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program­specific audit conducted for that year. Non­Federal 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.

Records

All financial and programmatic records, supporting documents, statistical reports, and other records of awardees or subawardees are required to be maintained by the terms of the agreement. The awardees must retain records for 3 years after completion of the project or submission of the final financial report, whichever is later, and be readily available for inspection and audit.

Financial Information

Account Identification

13-0525-0-1-376.

Obigations

(Cooperative Agreements) FY 16 $121,363,000; FY 17 est $120,341,000; and FY 18 est $0 - 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 $1,500,000 annually.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

Program regulations are codified at 15 CFR 290-92. A Federal Register Notice announcing the request for proposals from qualified organizations will be published when funds are available. This program is subject to the provisions of 15 CFR 24 and 15 CFR 14.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

None.

Headquarters Office

Carroll Thomas 100 Bureau Drive Stop 4800, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20899-4800 Email: carroll.thomas@nist.gov Phone: 301-975-4676

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Proposals are selected on the basis of merit. Selection criteria are published in the Federal Funding Opportunity, and for manufacturing extension centers, appear in 15 CFR 290.



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