Tuesday, March 31, 2015

NIST Awards $26 Million to Support Manufacturing in 10 States

The U.S. Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology ("NIST") today announced the award of new cooperative agreements to 10 nonprofit organizations and universities to manage Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership ("MEP") centers. NIST’s MEP program helps small- and mid-size manufacturers create and retain jobs, increase profits and save time and money. In an open competition, the existing MEP centers in Colorado, Connecticut, Indiana, Michigan, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia, were selected to receive a total of $26 million in federal funding, an increase of about $10 million or nearly 60 percent. The funding will allow the centers to reach new customers and offer new services.

The new cooperative agreements are for five years, subject to the availability of annual appropriations and successful annual reviews.

The recipients are:

  • Colorado: Manufacturer’s Edge (Boulder) - $1,668,359
  • Connecticut: CONNSTEP, Inc., (Rocky Hill) - $1,476,247
  • Indiana: Purdue University/Indiana MEP (Indianapolis) - $2,758,688
  • Michigan: Industrial Technology Institute/Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center (Plymouth) - $4,299,175
  • New Hampshire: New Hampshire Manufacturing Extension Partnership (Concord) - $628,176
  • North Carolina: North Carolina State University/North Carolina Manufacturing Extension Partnership (Raleigh) - $3,036,183
  • Oregon: Oregon Manufacturing Extension Partnership (Tigard) - $1,792,029
  • Tennessee: University of Tennessee, Center for Industrial Services/Tennessee Manufacturing Extension Partnership (Nashville) - $1,976,348
  • Texas: The University of Texas at Arlington/Texas Manufacturing Assistance Center (Arlington) - $6,700,881
  • Virginia: A.L. Philpott Manufacturing Extension Partnership/GENEDGE Alliance (Martinsville) - $1,722,571

MEP centers are public-private partnerships and must receive a portion of their funding from non-federal agencies or organizations and industry through service fees. According to the program’s cost-sharing requirement, in the first three years of the award, the federal funding must be matched dollar for dollar by the operating entity. In a center’s fourth year, the federal funding reduces to two-fifths of its budget. Centers that operate for five or more years receive one-third of their annual funding from NIST.

As a public-private partnership, MEP delivers a high return on investment to taxpayers. For every dollar of federal investment, MEP clients generate nearly $19 in new sales, which translates into $2.5 billion annually. And for every $2,001 of federal investment, MEP creates or retains one U.S. manufacturing job. Since 1988, MEP has worked with nearly 80,000 U.S. manufacturers, leading to $88 billion in sales and $14 billion in cost savings, and it has helped create more than 729,000 jobs.

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