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.

New England's Manufacturing Revolution Demands Multi-State Strategy

The rise of advanced manufacturing has opened the door to a resurgence of New England's manufacturing economy, according to a new report from The New England Council and Deloitte Consulting LLC. In Advanced to Advantageous: The Case for New England's Manufacturing Revolution, the authors suggest that the existing network of universities, private manufacturers and government partners give the region a competitive advantage in advanced prototyping, additive manufacturing and the Internet of Things.

MEP Launches Competitions for 12 MEP Centers; WH Announces Supply Chain Initiative

The National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) issued a Federal Funding Opportunity for nonprofit organizations to operate state MEP centers in 12 states – Alaska, Idaho, Illinois, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Utah, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin. The objective of the MEP Center program is to provide business and technical services to small- and medium-sized manufacturers within the state of operation.

Ninth U.S. Manufacturing Institute To Focus on Defense Textile Tech

This week, the White House released details on its ninth planned institute within the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation. The Department of Defense will award $75 million for a new manufacturing hub focused on Revolutionary Fibers and Textiles. Regional manufacturers, universities and nonprofits will soon be invited to compete for the funds, which require a 1:1 cost share. The institute will be the sixth funded through the Defense Department. Three others have received support through the Department of Energy.

SBA Identifies 11 Barriers to Additive Manufacturing for Entrepreneurs, Small Firms

There are 11 primary barriers to the adoption of additive manufacturing by tech entrepreneurs and small high-growth firms, according to a new report from the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Office of Advocacy. These 11 barriers were identified via surveys and interviews with entrepreneurs, private industry and other participants. In addition to identifying the 11 barriers, respondents also provide best practices or recent activities around each of the identified barriers.

National Academies Proposes Clear Pathways for U.S. Manufacturing Workforce

While manufacturing has never been more important to the American economy, many manufacturers report that they are unable to fill positions requiring skilled workers, according to the latest report from the National Academy of Engineering. At the same time, workers and students often find it difficult to navigate the web of certifications, degrees and experience levels necessary to claim these jobs.

NIST Announces $26M to Expand Services at MEP Centers in 10 States

The National Institute of Standards and Technology-Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NIST-MEP) announced the award of 10 new five-year cooperative agreements to manage Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) centers. 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 funding – an increase of about $10 million (nearly 60 percent). In addition to the additional federal funding:

DOD Releases Solicitation for $75M Flexible Hybrid Electronics Manufacturing Innovation Institute

The Department of Defense (DOD) released a federal funding opportunity (FFO) to establish the newest Institute for Manufacturing Innovation (IMI) focused on flexible hybrid electronics manufacturing. Administered by the Air Force Research Laboratory, the Flexible Hybrid Electronics is the seventh IMI to be established under the Obama administration and the fifth to be led by the DOD. Lead applicant eligibility is restricted to nonprofit organizations. However, applicants are encouraged to establish a regional consortium that includes members from academia, government and industry.

R&D Tax Credits Increase Resiliency of R&D-Intensive Firms

As the federal and state governments look for methods to support the creation and retention of well-paying science and tech (S&T) and manufacturing jobs, two recent reports have found that R&D tax credits play a vital role in helping keep domestic R&D-intensive firms resilient from economic downtowns and competition from emerging economics.

Commerce Announces Next Round for Manufacturing Communities Competition

The U.S. Department of Commerce announced a second round of the Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP) competition. IMCP, a cross-agency initiative, coordinates federal investments behind long-term economic development strategies in manufacturing communities. The first four designee communities were announced in May 2014.


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