Public Comments Requested on Proposed ATP Changes

September 26, 1997

The Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology is requesting comments on proposed revisions to the agency's Advanced Technology Program regulations.

The proposed changes are the result of a study of the ATP initiated by Commerce Secretary William Daley in March. Conducted by the department's Technology Administration and completed in July, the study solicited comments from the public and experts on research and technology concerning strategies to strengthen the program and increase its effectiveness.

Key provisions in the proposed modifications to the ATP include:

  • ATP may consider using the dollar value of the 500th company in Fortune Magazine's Fortune 500 listing in defining the term "large business" in ATP solicitations. This change is in response to concerns that the current process gives large firms an unfair advantage over medium-sized firms with limited resources.
  • The cost sharing requirements for large companies applying as single proposers would increase to a minimum of 60 percent. Currently, all companies are treated alike regardless of size, and companies applying as individual firms are not required to provide any specific amount as their part of the cost-share.
  • ATP's project selection criteria (used in the evaluation of candidate projects) would place greater emphasis on joint ventures and consortia with a broad range of participants, with the intent to encourage the teaming of large companies with smaller companies, universities and national labs.
  • The method used regarding the valuation of the transfer of goods --such as software or research equipment -- between independent members of a joint venture for purposes of computing the contribution of these resources to the cost-share would be changed.

The Federal Register notice detailing the proposed modifications may be read on the ATP homepage: www.atp.nist.gov/. Individual copies may be obtained from the ATP by calling 1-800-ATP FUND (1-800-287-3863). Comments on the proposed changes must be received by NIST by October 17, 1997.