mep

DOE, USDA, MEP release info on new funding opportunities, awards

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) have all made recent announcements on new funding provided either through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law or the CHIPS and Science Act. DoE is accepting applications for an $80 million program focused on benefiting small and medium-sized manufacturing firms. USDA and MEP announced more than 170 awards to expand innovative uses of wood and to address supply chain issues.

President Biden’s Buy American final rule increases domestic manufacturing content requirements

This month, President Joe Biden announced the final rule of his Buy American initiative, which includes increasing the mandated U.S.-made content for federal contractors from 55 percent to 75 percent over seven years and strengthening domestic supply chains for critical goods. This final rule follows Executive Order 14005, which Biden signed during his first week in office that launched a review of existing Buy American policies and created the first Made in America Office within the Office of Management and Budget.

NIST MEP announces funding opportunities for manufacturing centers in four states

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is accepting applications to operate Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) centers in Kentucky, Nebraska, Rhode Island and South Dakota. The NIST Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership funds 51 centers in all 50 states and Puerto Rico which provide experts who enhance the performance of local manufacturers. Funding awards will include almost $19.8 million to support small and medium-sized manufacturing companies in the four listed states.

Opportunity to advance technology adoption in small and medium manufacturers

NIST’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) is working with the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) to support projects partnering universities and MEP centers to encourage adoption of advanced technologies by small- and medium-sized manufacturers (SMMs). APLU is working with Innovation Associates and Jim Woodell & Company to select three collaborative university-MEP pilot projects to develop and test different models of technology transitioning. APLU is currently soliciting two-page, pre-proposals from university-MEP applicant teams by April 16.

MEP Centers continue to deliver consistent ROI to nation

Despite facing enormous challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, manufacturers and Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Centers continued to deliver a “consistent and significant return on investment to the nation,” in FY 2020, according to a new analysis from the W.E. Upjohn Institute. MEP Centers deliver technical assistance to primarily small- and medium-sized manufacturing establishments to help them improve their productivity and competitiveness. The research team models different scenarios to estimate the broader economic effects of the collective activities of its MEP Centers on the U.S. economy, and found that the federal investment of $146 million into MEP Centers yields a return to the Treasury of about $1.99 billion, for a return of 13.6:1 according to one estimate.

Manufacturers key to economic recovery

With the nation in the midst of a recession following 128 months of economic expansion, many are asking how we will find our way out. Turning to a long-time strength for the nation and relying on our manufacturing industry is one way. Manufacturing leaders presented some policy solutions and historical context for the outlook during a National Conference of State Legislatures webinar yesterday in conjunction with representatives of the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership.

MEP generating substantial economic and financial returns, study finds

A recent economic-impact study by Summit Consulting and the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research analyzed the overall effect of projects undertaken by the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) on the U.S. economy in FY 2019 and found that the investment of federal dollars into the MEP Centers yields, in the most conservative model, a return on investment of 13.4:1 (from the $140 million federal investment). The study also found that total employment in the U.S. was nearly 217,000 higher because of MEP Center projects. 

Ten states selected for manufacturing-focused Policy Academy

Ten states from across the country have been selected as part of a unique program designed to grow and strengthen their manufacturers. Over the course of the next year, interdisciplinary state teams will meet together in Washington, D.C., and separately in their home states, to develop and refine strategies impacting manufacturing industries.

Upjohn: ROI of Manufacturing Extension Partnership eclipses 14:1

The National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Program generates a sizeable financial return on investment for the federal government, according to a recent study by the Michigan-based W.E. Upjohn Institute. The $140 million invested in MEP during FY 2018 by the federal government generated more than $2.0 billion in increased federal personal income tax, a ROI of roughly 14.4:1 according to Upjohn researchers Jim Robey, Randall Eberts, Brian Pittelko, and Claudette Robey. Based on direct, indirect, and induced jobs generated by projects at MEP centers, the authors also find evidence that total employment in the U.S. was nearly 240,000 jobs higher than it would have been without the program.

Policy Academy teams meet to strengthen manufacturers

As part of an official kick-off for a yearlong Policy Academy, interdisciplinary teams from around the country met in Washington, D.C., last week to advance policies that strengthen their manufacturing sectors. The four state participants – Kentucky, New Jersey, Puerto Rico, and Utah – are comprised of leadership from governor’s offices, state economic development departments, Manufacturing Extension Partnership centers, manufacturing trade associations, and other manufacturing centers. In addition to facilitated working groups, the event featured speakers from Deloitte, The National Center for the Middle Market, NIST, MForesight, New America, and the National Governors’ Association.

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