NIST seeking pathways for including non-federal manufacturing centers in national network

March 12, 2020

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is seeking to expand the network of Manufacturing USA centers for innovation, providing pathways for participation from external industry organizations, according to a recent notice in the Federal Register. These “alliance institutes” will not be federally funded, but will essentially function in the same capacity as the federally-funded institutes. However, alliance institutes will still be eligible to receive public service grants — allowing them to provide workforce development services, small- and medium-sized manufacturer outreach, and conduct other typical Manufacturing USA activities. NIST is also looking for public input on alternative funding ideas and opportunities which alliance institutes could access.

The new centers will not be the only beneficiaries of this expansion. Existing Manufacturing USA centers will also benefit from the network’s expansion through increased collaboration and technology diffusion, broadened access to organizations with complementary technological specializations, and gleaning best practices from organizations under different operational and governance models.

NIST has expressed that previous collaboration with Manufacturing USA is neither necessary nor a disqualifying factor for alliance members, but still seeks public input on eligibility and evaluation criteria for new centers, the potential risks of expanding the network, the application process, and more.

Interested parties can click here to submit comments through an online form or can email PDFs, Microsoft Word documents, or plain text attachments to manufacturingusa@nist.gov — including “RFI Response: Manufacturing USA Institutes and Processes” in the subject line.

nist, manufacturing