WASHINGTON—The National Institute of Standards and Technology is offering some $160 million in federal funding to set up cooperative agreements for the operation of Manufacturing Extension Partnership grants in 12 states, NIST announced on its website, www.nist.gov.
The MEP works with small and medium-sized U.S. manufacturers to help them create and retain jobs, increase profits and save time and money, NIST said. The MEP network of more than 1,200 technical experts across the U.S. acts as a business advisory group to help U.S. manufacturers to compete globally, it said.
Until June 1, qualified non-profit organizations may submit proposals to obtain grants to operate an MEP Center in each of the 12 designated states, NIST said. The grant program is intended to set up one center in each state, it said.
The designated states are Alaska, Idaho, Illinois, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Utah, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin, NIST said.
Each winning organization must share at least 50 percent of the MEP operational costs with NIST in the first, second and third year of the MEP operation, using non-federal funds, NIST said. NIST's share of MEP operations drops to 40 percent in the fourth year and one-third in the fifth year and beyond, the organization said.
NIST, a program of the U.S. Department of Commerce, will hold webinars April 13 and 16 about the MEP program and how to apply for grants. For more information, send an email to [email protected]