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US House appropriations bills would make major cuts to innovation

The House Appropriations Committee began releasing FY 2018 “markup” budget bills this week, and the proposals would cut billions in non-defense spending. EDA would lose $117 million in program funding, SBA’s entrepreneurial development programs would lose $34 million, NIST’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership would lose $30 million, and Energy’s ARPA-E would be eliminated, among other cuts.

Budget deal supports innovation, research

Congress has passed a budget for FY 2017 that largely continues support for federal innovation programs and R&D investments. Among the highlights are $17 million for Regional Innovation Strategies (a $2 million increase over FY 2016), level funding of $130 million for the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership and $5 million for SBA’s clusters program. In reviewing dozens of line items, offices that had received significant cuts in the White House’s skinny budget appear to receive some of the largest funding increases (such as the Appalachian Regional Commission, Community Development Block Grant and ARPA-E). However, with the exception of multi-billion dollar increases for Department of Defense R&D, many increases are rather small in terms of overall dollars. This is, at least in part, a reflection of non-defense spending caps rising by only $40 million for FY 2017, limiting the availability of new funds. In this context, science and innovation gains are particularly impressive, with a five percent overall increase for federal R&D that particularly benefits NASA and NIH.

$70 Million Awarded to New Biopharmaceuticals Institute

The National Institute for Innovation in Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals (NIIMBL) becomes the eleventh institute in the Manufacturing USA network, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker announced last week. The $70 million award marks the first institute with a focus area proposed by industry and the first funded by the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC).

COMPETES Act Reauthorized without Funding

Last week, Congress passed the American Innovation and Competitiveness Act (S. 3084), which reauthorizes the America COMPETES Act. The Act does not include any funding levels for any of the programs or agencies reauthorized in the bill but does reinforce Congress’s support for research and makes adjustments to some programs. One crucial component of the bill adjusts the cost share requirement for NIST’s Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership to 1:1 throughout the new authorization period.

Funding Feedback Needed at NIST

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is requesting feedback on a 2017 funding opportunity that will allow the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Centers and their partners to add capabilities to the MEP program, including projects to solve new or emerging manufacturing problems. Small and medium-sized U.S. manufacturers are encouraged to send information about their needs in four areas: critical manufacturing technologies; supply chain; potential business services, including information services; and other technologies or services that would enhance global competition. NIST also requests recommendations for other critical issues that it should consider in strategic planning for future investments. More information can be found here. Responses will be accepted through Jan. 13, 2017.

MEP Announces Competition for Operation of 11 MEP State Centers

The National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NIST-MEP) released a federal funding opportunity (FFO) for the operation of MEP state centers in 11 states – Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, New Mexico, Nevada, North Dakota, South Carolina, and Wyoming.  The objective of the MEP Center program is to provide business and technical services to small- and

NIST to Fund National Cybersecurity Network; Other Nations Invest in Cybersecurity R&D

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) released a federal funding opportunity (FFO) to establish and sustain up to eight Regional Alliances and Multistakeholder Partnerships to Stimulate (RAMPS) Cybersecurity Education and Workforce Development.

NIST Releases $70M National Manufacturing Institute FFA, First NNMI Reports Released

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) released a new Federal Funding Announcement (FFA) to award its first national manufacturing innovation institute (NMII). Proposers may solicit a new NMII on any advanced manufacturing technology focus area not already addressed by another institute or competition.

NSF, NIST Commit $5.8M to Establish National Consortium on Advanced Manufacturing

On National Manufacturing Day, the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the U.S. Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) announced they will commit $5.8 million over the next three years to establish and sustain a consortium focused on the identification of new, emerging areas of advanced manufacturing.

NIST Announces Recompetition of 22 State MEP Centers in 2016

The National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) released a notice of intent to issue two future Federal Funding Opportunities (FFOs) in 2016 for the recompetition of state MEP centers in 22 states. Each state MEP center provides manufacturing extension services to primarily small- and medium-sized manufacturers in their respective state.

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