Solicitation of Applications for the University Center Economic Development Program, 6115-6118 [E8-1836]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 22 / Friday, February 1, 2008 / Notices DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Economic Development Administration [Docket No.: 080125084–8086–01] Solicitation of Applications for the University Center Economic Development Program Economic Development Administration (EDA), Department of Commerce. ACTION: Notice and request for applications. mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with NOTICES AGENCY: SUMMARY: EDA is soliciting competitive applications from accredited institutions of higher education and from consortia of accredited institutions of higher education for FY 2008 University Center Economic Development Program funding in the geographic areas served by its Chicago and Philadelphia regional offices. EDA’s mission is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting innovation and competitiveness, preparing American regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. Institutions of higher education have many assets and in partnership with EDA, they are able to establish and operate University Centers. These EDAsponsored University Centers conduct applied research, provide technical assistance to public and private sector organizations, and conduct other activities with the goal of enhancing regional economic development by promoting a favorable business environment to attract private capital investment and higher-skill, higherwage jobs. DATES: The closing date and time for receipt of applications for funding under the FY 2008 University Center Economic Development Program competition is April 15, 2008 at 4 p.m. local time. The Chicago regional office will hold a pre-application teleconference on March 5, 2008 at 10 a.m. (CST). The Philadelphia regional office will hold its pre-application teleconference call on March 12, 2008 at 2 p.m. (EST). For further information and instructions regarding these teleconferences, please see the information provided below under ‘‘Teleconferences.’’ Application Submission Requirements: Applicants are advised to carefully read the instructions contained in Section IV of the complete Federal Funding Opportunity (FFO) announcement for this request for applications. For a copy of the FFO announcement, please see the Web sites listed below under ‘‘Electronic Access.’’ VerDate Aug<31>2005 18:22 Jan 31, 2008 Jkt 214001 Applications may be submitted in two formats: (i) In paper format at the addresses provided below; or (ii) electronically in accordance with the procedures provided on www.grants.gov. EDA will not accept facsimile transmissions of applications. The content of the application is the same for paper submissions as it is for electronic submissions. A complete application must contain all the items listed in the Checklist of Application Materials attached as an Exhibit to the complete FFO announcement. You may obtain paper application packages by contacting the designated point of contact listed below under ‘‘For Further Information’’ for the EDA regional office servicing your geographic area. Applicants applying electronically through www.grants.gov may access the application package by following the instructions provided on www.grants.gov. Additionally, the following application forms may be accessed and downloaded as follows: (i) Form ED–900A, Application for Investment Assistance, at http:// www.eda.gov/InvestmentsGrants/ Application.xml; (ii) Standard Forms (SF) at www.grants.gov or at http:// www.eda.gov/InvestmentsGrants/ Application.xml; and (iii) Department of Commerce (CD) forms at http:// www.doc.gov/forms. Paper Submissions: Applicants in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Wisconsin, or Muscatine or Scott counties, Iowa, should submit paper submissions (via postal mail, overnight delivery or hand-delivery) to: FY 2008 University Center Program Competition, Economic Development Administration, Chicago Regional Office, 111 North Canal Street, Suite 855, Chicago, Illinois 60606–7208. Applicants in Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Virgin Islands or West Virginia should submit paper submissions (via postal mail, overnight delivery or handdelivery) to: FY 2008 University Center Program Competition, Economic Development Administration, Philadelphia Regional Office, Curtis Center, Suite 140 South, 601 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19106–3323. Department of Commerce mail security measures may delay receipt of United States Postal Service mail for up to two weeks. Therefore, applicants who submit paper submissions are advised to use a guaranteed overnight delivery service. PO 00000 Frm 00007 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 6115 Electronic Submissions: Applicants may submit applications electronically in accordance with the instructions provided at www.grants.gov. EDA strongly encourages that applicants not wait until the application closing date to begin the application process through www.grants.gov. The preferred file format for electronic attachments (e.g., the Project Narrative and exhibits to Form ED–900A) is portable document format (PDF); however, EDA will accept electronic files in Microsoft Word, WordPerfect, Lotus or Excel formats. Applicants should access the following link for assistance in navigating www.grants.gov and for a list of useful resources: http:// www.grants.gov/applicants/ applicant_help.jsp. If you do not find an answer to your question under Frequently Asked Questions, try consulting the Applicant’s User Guide. If you still cannot find an answer to your question, contact www.grants.gov via e-mail at support@grants.gov or telephone at 1–800–518–4726. The hours of operation for www.grants.gov are Monday–Friday, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. (EST) (except for federal holidays). For additional information or for a paper copy of the application package, the designated contact person in the Chicago regional office is Jack Price. Mr. Price may be reached at jprice@eda.doc.gov or at 312–353–8143, ext. 159. The designated contact person in the Philadelphia regional office is William Good. Mr. Good may be reached at wgood@eda.doc.gov or at 215–597–0405. EDA’s Internet Web site at http://www.eda.gov also has additional information on EDA and its programs, including the University Center Economic Development Program. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Program Information: EDA began administering the University Center Economic Development Program as a competitive multi-year program as part of its FY 2004 solicitation for applications. Under this multi-year program designation, EDA held University Center Economic Development Program competitions annually in two of its six regional offices in FY 2004 through FY 2006, and will hold similar competitions in FY 2008 and FY 2009. The Austin and Denver regional offices solicited applications for the FY 2004 University Center competition, the Philadelphia and Chicago regional offices solicited applications for the FY 2005 University Center competition, and the Atlanta and Seattle regional offices solicited E:\FR\FM\01FEN1.SGM 01FEN1 mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with NOTICES 6116 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 22 / Friday, February 1, 2008 / Notices applications for the FY 2006 University Center competition. Electronic Access: The complete FFO announcement for the FY 2008 University Center Economic Development Program competition is available at www.grants.gov and at http://www.eda.gov/InvestmentsGrants/ FFON.xml. Funding Availability: Funding appropriated under the FY 2008 Consolidated Appropriations Act (Pub. L. No. 110–161, 121 Stat. 1844 (2007)) is available for the economic development assistance programs authorized by PWEDA and for the Trade Adjustment Assistance for Firms Program authorized under the Trade Act of 1974, as amended (19 U.S.C. 2341– 2391). Funds in the amount of $249,100,000 have been appropriated for FY 2008 and shall remain available until expended. In all events, the funding periods and funding amounts referenced in this notice are subject to the availability of FY 2008 funds at the time of award, as well as to Department of Commerce’s and EDA’s priorities at the time of award. The Department of Commerce and EDA will not be held responsible for application preparation costs if the University Center Economic Development Program fails to receive funding or is cancelled because of agency priorities. Publication of this notice does not obligate the Department of Commerce or EDA to award any specific grant or cooperative agreement or to obligate all or part of available funds. EDA expects to allocate approximately $7,202,620 to the University Center Economic Development Program and the remaining appropriated funds to EDA’s Local and National Technical Assistance Programs. The amount of University Center funding available for competition in FY 2008 is expected to be approximately $1,118,370 for the Chicago regional office and approximately $1,396,760 for the Philadelphia regional office. Annual awards for the University Centers selected under the FY 2005 competition were in the $120,000 to $175,000 range for the Chicago regional office and in the $80,000 to $150,000 range for the Philadelphia regional office. These regional offices may, however, choose to fund awards under this competition outside of these ranges. The remaining FY 2008 University Center Economic Development Program funds will be used to continue support for current University Centers selected during the FY 2006 and FY 2007 competitions in EDA’s other four regional offices. VerDate Aug<31>2005 18:22 Jan 31, 2008 Jkt 214001 Subject to the availability of funding at the time of award, the funds allocated to the University Center Economic Development Program are anticipated to be available until expended. Statutory Authority: The authority for the University Center Program is section 207 (42 U.S.C. 3147) of the Public Works and Economic Development Act of 1965, as amended (42 U.S.C. 3121 et seq.) (PWEDA). The specific authority for the University Center Economic Development Program is section 207 of PWEDA (42 U.S.C. 3147), which authorizes EDA to make grants for the establishment of University Centers. EDA’s regulations at 13 CFR parts 300– 302 and subpart B of 13 CFR part 306 set forth the general and specific regulatory requirements applicable to the University Center Economic Development Program. EDA’s regulations are codified at 13 CFR chapter III. The regulations and PWEDA are accessible on EDA’s Internet Web site at http://www.eda.gov/ InvestmentsGrants/Lawsreg.xml. Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 11.303, Economic Development—Technical Assistance. Applicant Eligibility: An accredited institution of higher education or a consortium of accredited institutions of higher education is eligible to apply for and to receive funding under the University Center Economic Development Program. See section 3(12) of PWEDA (42 U.S.C. 3122(12)) and 13 CFR 300.3. A University-affiliated research foundation also is eligible to apply for and to receive funding under the University Center Economic Development Program, provided it demonstrates (e.g., a letter or other documentation from a University President or Chancellor) that it maintains the full and integral support of the University with respect to its economic development activities. For applicants applying as a consortium, a lead agent should be identified who would have lead responsibility to EDA and to the other members of the consortium for implementing a University Center Economic Development Program award. For FY 2008, the University Center Economic Development Program competition is open to eligible applicants in the geographic areas served by EDA’s Chicago and Philadelphia regional offices. The Chicago regional office serves Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Wisconsin and Muscatine and Scott counties, Iowa. The Philadelphia regional office serves Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, PO 00000 Frm 00008 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Virgin Islands and West Virginia. Project Period: The Chicago and Philadelphia regional offices will provide a three-year project period for each University Center selected for funding under the FY 2008 University Center Economic Development Program competition, with the initial award being made for the first year of the project period. The selected University Centers will not have to compete for the second and third years of funding. Funding beyond the initial year is dependent upon the availability of funds and satisfactory performance, as determined by EDA and expressed in written notice. Matching share commitment percentages must remain the same for all three years of funding. Current University Center operators in the service areas of EDA’s Atlanta, Austin, Denver and Seattle regional offices will not have to compete for continuation funding in FY 2008, subject to the availability of funds and satisfactory continuing performance, as determined by EDA and expressed in a written notice. The servicing EDA regional office will contact current University Center operators regarding the procedures for applying for FY 2008 continuation funding. Cost Sharing Requirement: Generally, the amount of the EDA grant may not exceed fifty (50) percent of the total cost of the project. Projects may receive an additional amount that shall not exceed thirty (30) percent, as determined by EDA, based on the relative needs of the region in which the project will be located. See section 204(a) of PWEDA (42 U.S.C. 3144) and 13 CFR 301.4(b)(1). The Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development has the discretion to establish a maximum EDA investment rate of up to one hundred (100) percent where the project (i) merits and is not otherwise feasible without an increase to the EDA investment rate; or (ii) will be of no or only incidental benefit to the recipient. See section 204(c)(3) of PWEDA (42 U.S.C. 3144) and 13 CFR 301.4(b)(4). In the application review process, EDA will consider the nature of the contribution (cash or in-kind) and the amount of the matching share funds. While cash contributions are preferred, in-kind contributions, fairly evaluated by EDA, may provide the non-federal share of the total project cost. See section 204(b) of PWEDA (42 U.S.C. 3144) and Section I.B. of the FFO announcement for this request for applications. In-kind contributions, which may include assumptions of debt E:\FR\FM\01FEN1.SGM 01FEN1 mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 22 / Friday, February 1, 2008 / Notices and contributions of space, equipment, and services, are eligible to be included as part of the non-federal share of eligible project costs if they meet applicable federal cost principles and uniform administrative requirements. Funds from other federal financial assistance awards are considered matching share funds only if authorized by statute, which may be determined by EDA’s reasonable interpretation of the statute. See 13 CFR 300.3. The applicant must show that the matching share is committed to the project for the entire project period, will be available as needed and is not conditioned or encumbered in any way that precludes its use consistent with the requirements of EDA investment assistance. See 13 CFR 301.5. Intergovernmental Review: Applications for funding under the University Center Economic Development Program are subject to the State review requirements imposed by Executive Order 12372, ‘‘Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs.’’ Evaluation and Selection Procedures: Prior to the review paneling process, EDA’s Chicago and Philadelphia regional offices will undertake a technical review of each application to ensure that all required forms, signatures and documentation are present and that the application is in compliance with the requirements of this competitive solicitation. Applications failing to meet the technical requirements of this competitive solicitation will not be referred to the review panel. Applications meeting all technical requirements will undergo a merit review by EDA’s Chicago and Philadelphia regional offices. The review panel will consist of federal employees, at least three (3) of whom will be members of EDA staff from the Chicago and Philadelphia regional offices, who will evaluate and competitively rate and rank all technically-sufficient applications using the criteria provided under ‘‘Evaluation Criteria’’ below. The Regional Director of each regional office is the Selecting Official for the applications received from applicants located within that regional office’s geographic service area. The review panel will submit to the Selecting Official a list of applicants recommended for funding. Evaluation Criteria: The evaluation of applications will be accomplished through a review using the following criteria, listed in descending order of importance: (i) Ability to satisfy one or more of the University Center-specific investment policy guidelines; (ii) VerDate Aug<31>2005 18:22 Jan 31, 2008 Jkt 214001 applicant’s ability to successfully implement the project; (iii) feasibility of the project budget; and (iv) cost of the project to the Federal government. Each criterion is described below. Ability to Satisfy One or More of the University Center-specific Investment Policy Guidelines. The following University Center-specific investment policy guidelines have been adapted from (i) EDA’s general investment policy guidelines set forth in 13 CFR 301.8 and (ii) the specific award requirements for University Center projects listed in 13 CFR 306.5 (each sub-criterion listed below will be given equivalent weight). You must provide responses to these University Centerspecific investment policy guidelines as part of the Project Narrative discussed in Section IV.B.1. of the FFO announcement. 1. Be market-based and results driven. An investment in an EDA University Center will capitalize on the university’s competitive strengths and will bolster regional economic competitiveness, resulting in tangible, quantifiable improvements in regional economic health, such as increased numbers of higher-skill, higher-wage jobs, increased tax revenue or increased private sector investment. 2. Have strong organizational leadership. An investment will have strong leadership, relevant project management experience, and a significant commitment of human resources talent to ensure a highperforming University Center. Specifically for University Center investments, this includes: (a) The extent to which the proposed University Center will maximize coordination with other relevant organizations and avoid duplication of services offered by other organizations; (b) the extent to which the University Center will access, take advantage of, and be supported by the other resources present at the sponsoring institution, especially the institution’s economic development activities; and (c) the degree of evidence demonstrating the support and commitment (both financial and nonfinancial) of the highest management levels of the proposed University Center’s sponsoring institution. 3. Advance productivity, innovation and entrepreneurship. An investment in a proposed University Center will embrace the principles of entrepreneurship; enhance regional industry clusters, and leverage and link technology innovators (university research) with the private sector to create the conditions for greater productivity, innovation and higherskill, higher-wage job creation. PO 00000 Frm 00009 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 6117 4. Look beyond the immediate economic horizon, anticipate economic changes, and diversify the local and regional economy. A University Center’s activities will be part of an overarching, long-term comprehensive economic development strategy that enhances a region’s success in achieving a rising standard of living. 5. Demonstrate a high degree of local commitment by exhibiting: • High levels of local government or non-profit matching funds and private sector leverage; • Clear and unified leadership and support by local elected officials; and • Strong cooperation between the business sector, relevant regional partners and local, State and Federal governments. Ability to Successfully Implement the Project: The review panel will evaluate the applicant’s ability to successfully implement the project. This evaluation will include the extent to which the applicant (including its sponsoring institution) has successfully implemented past technical assistance projects, especially those involving economic development. The review panel also will evaluate the expertise of project staff, as well as the academic programs and other resources available within the sponsoring institution. See 13 CFR 306.5. Feasibility of Project Budget: The review panel will evaluate the feasibility of the project budget, including but not limited to the reasonableness and the allowability of project costs. Cost of the Project to the Federal Government: The review panel will evaluate the cost of the project to the Federal government, taking into account the technical assistance services to be performed by the University Center and how those services are anticipated to spur regional economic development. As provided under ‘‘Cost Sharing Requirement’’ in this request for applications and in Section I.B. of the FFO announcement, EDA will give a preference to those applications that include a cash contribution for the matching share requirement. Selection Factors: EDA expects to fund the highest ranking applications submitted under this competition solicitation. The Selecting Official will normally follow the recommendations of the review panel; however, the Selecting Official may decide not to make a selection, or he may select an application out of rank order for several reasons, including: (1) A determination that the application better meets the overall objectives of sections 2 and 207 of PWEDA (42 U.S.C. 3121 and 3147); E:\FR\FM\01FEN1.SGM 01FEN1 mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with NOTICES 6118 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 22 / Friday, February 1, 2008 / Notices (2) the availability of program funding; (3) the geographic balance in distribution of program funds; (4) program priorities as set forth in the FFO announcement; or (5) the applicant’s performance under previous federal financial assistance awards. The Department of Commerce PreAward Notification Requirements for Grants and Cooperative Agreements: The administrative and national policy requirements for all Department of Commerce awards, contained in the Department of Commerce Pre-Award Notification Requirements for Grants and Cooperative Agreements, published in the Federal Register on December 30, 2004 (69 FR 78389), are applicable to this competitive solicitation. Teleconferences: The Chicago regional office will hold a preapplication teleconference on March 5, 2008 at 10 a.m. (CST). The Philadelphia regional office will hold its preapplication teleconference call on March 12, 2008 at 2 p.m. (EST). These teleconferences will provide general program information and information regarding the preparation of applications for funding under this competitive solicitation. To ensure the integrity of this competition, EDA will not provide substantive information regarding the competition to prospective applicants outside of these scheduled teleconferences. To ensure that enough incoming lines are available for each caller, the Chicago regional office requires interested parties planning to participate on the teleconference to register no later than 5 p.m. (CST) on February 27, 2008; the Philadelphia regional office requires interested parties planning to participate on the teleconference to register no later than 4 p.m. (EST) on March 7, 2008. To register, please send an email with ‘‘Teleconference Registration’’ in the subject line to the designated contact person in the Chicago or Philadelphia regional office, as provided under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in this request for applications. The telephone number and pass code for each teleconference will be provided upon registration. Please be advised that the preapplication teleconferences may be audio-taped and the actual recordings or a transcript of the actual recording may be made available online for the benefit of prospective applicants unable to participate. Prospective applicants who choose to participate on the teleconferences are deemed to consent to the taping. Paperwork Reduction Act: This document contains collection-ofinformation requirements subject to the VerDate Aug<31>2005 18:22 Jan 31, 2008 Jkt 214001 Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA). The use of Form ED–900A (Application for Investment Assistance) has been approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the control number 0610–0094. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no person is required to respond to, nor shall any person be subject to a penalty for failure to comply with, a collection of information subject to the requirements of the PRA unless that collection of information displays a currently valid OMB control number. Executive Order 12866: This notice has been determined to be not significant for purposes of Executive Order 12866. Executive Order 13132 (Federalism): It has been determined that this notice does not contain policies with Federalism implications as that term is defined in Executive Order 13132. Administrative Procedure Act/ Regulatory Flexibility Act: Prior notice and an opportunity for public comments are not required by the Administrative Procedure Act or any other law for rules concerning grants, benefits, and contracts (5 U.S.C. 553(a)(2)). Because notice and opportunity for comment are not required pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553 or any other law, the analytical requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) are inapplicable. Therefore, a regulatory flexibility analysis has not been prepared. Dated: January 28, 2008. Sandy K. Baruah, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development. [FR Doc. E8–1836 Filed 1–31–08; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–24–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Order, Finding, or Suspended Investigation; Advance Notification of Sunset Reviews Import Administration, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce. ACTION: Notice of upcoming Sunset Reviews. AGENCY: Background Every five years, pursuant to section 751(c) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended, the Department of Commerce (‘‘the Department’’) and the International Trade Commission automatically initiate and conduct a PO 00000 Frm 00010 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 review to determine whether revocation of a countervailing or antidumping duty order or termination of an investigation suspended under section 704 or 734 would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of dumping or a countervailable subsidy (as the case may be) and of material injury. Upcoming Sunset Reviews for March 2008 The following Sunset Review is scheduled for initiation in March 2008 and will appear in that month’s Notice of Initiation of Five-Year Sunset Reviews. Antidumping Duty Proceedings Non-Malleable Cast Iron Pipe Fittings from the PRC (A–570–877) Department Contact Juanita Chen, (202) 482–1904 Countervailing Duty Proceedings No Sunset Review of countervailing duty proceedings are scheduled for initiation in March 2008 Suspended Investigations No Sunset Review of suspended investigations are scheduled for initiation in March 2008 The Department’s procedures for the conduct of Sunset Reviews are set forth in 19 CFR 351.218. Guidance on methodological or analytical issues relevant to the Department’s conduct of Sunset Reviews is set forth in the Department’s Policy Bulletin 98.3— Policies Regarding the Conduct of FiveYear (‘‘Sunset’’) Reviews of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Orders; Policy Bulletin, 63 FR 18871 (April 16, 1998) . The Notice of Initiation of Five-Year (‘‘Sunset’’) Reviews provides further information regarding what is required of all parties to participate in Sunset Reviews. Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.103(c), the Department will maintain and make available a service list for these proceedings. To facilitate the timely preparation of the service list(s), it is requested that those seeking recognition as interested parties to a proceeding contact the Department in writing within 15 days of the publication of the Notice of Initition. Please note that if the Department receives a Notice of Intent to Participate from a member of the domestic industry within 15 days of the date of initiation, the review will continue. Thereafter, any interested party wishing to participate in the Sunset Review must provide substantive comments in response to the notice of initiation no later than 30 days after the date of initiation. This notice is not required by statute but is published as a service to the international trading community. E:\FR\FM\01FEN1.SGM 01FEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 73, Number 22 (Friday, February 1, 2008)]
[Notices]
[Pages 6115-6118]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E8-1836]



[[Page 6115]]

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

Economic Development Administration

[Docket No.: 080125084-8086-01]


Solicitation of Applications for the University Center Economic 
Development Program

AGENCY: Economic Development Administration (EDA), Department of 
Commerce.

ACTION: Notice and request for applications.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: EDA is soliciting competitive applications from accredited 
institutions of higher education and from consortia of accredited 
institutions of higher education for FY 2008 University Center Economic 
Development Program funding in the geographic areas served by its 
Chicago and Philadelphia regional offices. EDA's mission is to lead the 
federal economic development agenda by promoting innovation and 
competitiveness, preparing American regions for growth and success in 
the worldwide economy. Institutions of higher education have many 
assets and in partnership with EDA, they are able to establish and 
operate University Centers. These EDA-sponsored University Centers 
conduct applied research, provide technical assistance to public and 
private sector organizations, and conduct other activities with the 
goal of enhancing regional economic development by promoting a 
favorable business environment to attract private capital investment 
and higher-skill, higher-wage jobs.

DATES: The closing date and time for receipt of applications for 
funding under the FY 2008 University Center Economic Development 
Program competition is April 15, 2008 at 4 p.m. local time. The Chicago 
regional office will hold a pre-application teleconference on March 5, 
2008 at 10 a.m. (CST). The Philadelphia regional office will hold its 
pre-application teleconference call on March 12, 2008 at 2 p.m. (EST). 
For further information and instructions regarding these 
teleconferences, please see the information provided below under 
``Teleconferences.''
    Application Submission Requirements: Applicants are advised to 
carefully read the instructions contained in Section IV of the complete 
Federal Funding Opportunity (FFO) announcement for this request for 
applications. For a copy of the FFO announcement, please see the Web 
sites listed below under ``Electronic Access.''
    Applications may be submitted in two formats: (i) In paper format 
at the addresses provided below; or (ii) electronically in accordance 
with the procedures provided on www.grants.gov. EDA will not accept 
facsimile transmissions of applications. The content of the application 
is the same for paper submissions as it is for electronic submissions. 
A complete application must contain all the items listed in the 
Checklist of Application Materials attached as an Exhibit to the 
complete FFO announcement.
    You may obtain paper application packages by contacting the 
designated point of contact listed below under ``For Further 
Information'' for the EDA regional office servicing your geographic 
area. Applicants applying electronically through www.grants.gov may 
access the application package by following the instructions provided 
on www.grants.gov. Additionally, the following application forms may be 
accessed and downloaded as follows: (i) Form ED-900A, Application for 
Investment Assistance, at http://www.eda.gov/InvestmentsGrants/
Application.xml; (ii) Standard Forms (SF) at www.grants.gov or at 
http://www.eda.gov/InvestmentsGrants/Application.xml; and (iii) 
Department of Commerce (CD) forms at http://www.doc.gov/forms.
    Paper Submissions: Applicants in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, 
Minnesota, Ohio, Wisconsin, or Muscatine or Scott counties, Iowa, 
should submit paper submissions (via postal mail, overnight delivery or 
hand-delivery) to: FY 2008 University Center Program Competition, 
Economic Development Administration, Chicago Regional Office, 111 North 
Canal Street, Suite 855, Chicago, Illinois 60606-7208.
    Applicants in Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Maine, 
Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, 
Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Virgin 
Islands or West Virginia should submit paper submissions (via postal 
mail, overnight delivery or hand-delivery) to: FY 2008 University 
Center Program Competition, Economic Development Administration, 
Philadelphia Regional Office, Curtis Center, Suite 140 South, 601 
Walnut Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19106-3323.
    Department of Commerce mail security measures may delay receipt of 
United States Postal Service mail for up to two weeks. Therefore, 
applicants who submit paper submissions are advised to use a guaranteed 
overnight delivery service.
    Electronic Submissions: Applicants may submit applications 
electronically in accordance with the instructions provided at 
www.grants.gov. EDA strongly encourages that applicants not wait until 
the application closing date to begin the application process through 
www.grants.gov. The preferred file format for electronic attachments 
(e.g., the Project Narrative and exhibits to Form ED-900A) is portable 
document format (PDF); however, EDA will accept electronic files in 
Microsoft Word, WordPerfect, Lotus or Excel formats.
    Applicants should access the following link for assistance in 
navigating www.grants.gov and for a list of useful resources: http://
www.grants.gov/applicants/applicant_help.jsp. If you do not find an 
answer to your question under Frequently Asked Questions, try 
consulting the Applicant's User Guide. If you still cannot find an 
answer to your question, contact www.grants.gov via e-mail at 
support@grants.gov or telephone at 1-800-518-4726. The hours of 
operation for www.grants.gov are Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. (EST) 
(except for federal holidays).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For additional information or for a 
paper copy of the application package, the designated contact person in 
the Chicago regional office is Jack Price. Mr. Price may be reached at 
jprice@eda.doc.gov or at 312-353-8143, ext. 159. The designated contact 
person in the Philadelphia regional office is William Good. Mr. Good 
may be reached at wgood@eda.doc.gov or at 215-597-0405. EDA's Internet 
Web site at http://www.eda.gov also has additional information on EDA 
and its programs, including the University Center Economic Development 
Program.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:
    Program Information: EDA began administering the University Center 
Economic Development Program as a competitive multi-year program as 
part of its FY 2004 solicitation for applications. Under this multi-
year program designation, EDA held University Center Economic 
Development Program competitions annually in two of its six regional 
offices in FY 2004 through FY 2006, and will hold similar competitions 
in FY 2008 and FY 2009. The Austin and Denver regional offices 
solicited applications for the FY 2004 University Center competition, 
the Philadelphia and Chicago regional offices solicited applications 
for the FY 2005 University Center competition, and the Atlanta and 
Seattle regional offices solicited

[[Page 6116]]

applications for the FY 2006 University Center competition.
    Electronic Access: The complete FFO announcement for the FY 2008 
University Center Economic Development Program competition is available 
at www.grants.gov and at http://www.eda.gov/InvestmentsGrants/FFON.xml.
    Funding Availability: Funding appropriated under the FY 2008 
Consolidated Appropriations Act (Pub. L. No. 110-161, 121 Stat. 1844 
(2007)) is available for the economic development assistance programs 
authorized by PWEDA and for the Trade Adjustment Assistance for Firms 
Program authorized under the Trade Act of 1974, as amended (19 U.S.C. 
2341-2391). Funds in the amount of $249,100,000 have been appropriated 
for FY 2008 and shall remain available until expended.
    In all events, the funding periods and funding amounts referenced 
in this notice are subject to the availability of FY 2008 funds at the 
time of award, as well as to Department of Commerce's and EDA's 
priorities at the time of award. The Department of Commerce and EDA 
will not be held responsible for application preparation costs if the 
University Center Economic Development Program fails to receive funding 
or is cancelled because of agency priorities. Publication of this 
notice does not obligate the Department of Commerce or EDA to award any 
specific grant or cooperative agreement or to obligate all or part of 
available funds.
    EDA expects to allocate approximately $7,202,620 to the University 
Center Economic Development Program and the remaining appropriated 
funds to EDA's Local and National Technical Assistance Programs. The 
amount of University Center funding available for competition in FY 
2008 is expected to be approximately $1,118,370 for the Chicago 
regional office and approximately $1,396,760 for the Philadelphia 
regional office. Annual awards for the University Centers selected 
under the FY 2005 competition were in the $120,000 to $175,000 range 
for the Chicago regional office and in the $80,000 to $150,000 range 
for the Philadelphia regional office. These regional offices may, 
however, choose to fund awards under this competition outside of these 
ranges. The remaining FY 2008 University Center Economic Development 
Program funds will be used to continue support for current University 
Centers selected during the FY 2006 and FY 2007 competitions in EDA's 
other four regional offices. Subject to the availability of funding at 
the time of award, the funds allocated to the University Center 
Economic Development Program are anticipated to be available until 
expended.
    Statutory Authority: The authority for the University Center 
Program is section 207 (42 U.S.C. 3147) of the Public Works and 
Economic Development Act of 1965, as amended (42 U.S.C. 3121 et seq.) 
(PWEDA). The specific authority for the University Center Economic 
Development Program is section 207 of PWEDA (42 U.S.C. 3147), which 
authorizes EDA to make grants for the establishment of University 
Centers. EDA's regulations at 13 CFR parts 300-302 and subpart B of 13 
CFR part 306 set forth the general and specific regulatory requirements 
applicable to the University Center Economic Development Program. EDA's 
regulations are codified at 13 CFR chapter III. The regulations and 
PWEDA are accessible on EDA's Internet Web site at http://www.eda.gov/
InvestmentsGrants/Lawsreg.xml.
    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 11.303, 
Economic Development--Technical Assistance.
    Applicant Eligibility: An accredited institution of higher 
education or a consortium of accredited institutions of higher 
education is eligible to apply for and to receive funding under the 
University Center Economic Development Program. See section 3(12) of 
PWEDA (42 U.S.C. 3122(12)) and 13 CFR 300.3. A University-affiliated 
research foundation also is eligible to apply for and to receive 
funding under the University Center Economic Development Program, 
provided it demonstrates (e.g., a letter or other documentation from a 
University President or Chancellor) that it maintains the full and 
integral support of the University with respect to its economic 
development activities. For applicants applying as a consortium, a lead 
agent should be identified who would have lead responsibility to EDA 
and to the other members of the consortium for implementing a 
University Center Economic Development Program award. For FY 2008, the 
University Center Economic Development Program competition is open to 
eligible applicants in the geographic areas served by EDA's Chicago and 
Philadelphia regional offices. The Chicago regional office serves 
Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Wisconsin and Muscatine 
and Scott counties, Iowa. The Philadelphia regional office serves 
Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, 
Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, 
Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Virgin Islands and West 
Virginia.
    Project Period: The Chicago and Philadelphia regional offices will 
provide a three-year project period for each University Center selected 
for funding under the FY 2008 University Center Economic Development 
Program competition, with the initial award being made for the first 
year of the project period. The selected University Centers will not 
have to compete for the second and third years of funding. Funding 
beyond the initial year is dependent upon the availability of funds and 
satisfactory performance, as determined by EDA and expressed in written 
notice. Matching share commitment percentages must remain the same for 
all three years of funding.
    Current University Center operators in the service areas of EDA's 
Atlanta, Austin, Denver and Seattle regional offices will not have to 
compete for continuation funding in FY 2008, subject to the 
availability of funds and satisfactory continuing performance, as 
determined by EDA and expressed in a written notice. The servicing EDA 
regional office will contact current University Center operators 
regarding the procedures for applying for FY 2008 continuation funding.
    Cost Sharing Requirement: Generally, the amount of the EDA grant 
may not exceed fifty (50) percent of the total cost of the project. 
Projects may receive an additional amount that shall not exceed thirty 
(30) percent, as determined by EDA, based on the relative needs of the 
region in which the project will be located. See section 204(a) of 
PWEDA (42 U.S.C. 3144) and 13 CFR 301.4(b)(1). The Assistant Secretary 
of Commerce for Economic Development has the discretion to establish a 
maximum EDA investment rate of up to one hundred (100) percent where 
the project (i) merits and is not otherwise feasible without an 
increase to the EDA investment rate; or (ii) will be of no or only 
incidental benefit to the recipient. See section 204(c)(3) of PWEDA (42 
U.S.C. 3144) and 13 CFR 301.4(b)(4).
    In the application review process, EDA will consider the nature of 
the contribution (cash or in-kind) and the amount of the matching share 
funds. While cash contributions are preferred, in-kind contributions, 
fairly evaluated by EDA, may provide the non-federal share of the total 
project cost. See section 204(b) of PWEDA (42 U.S.C. 3144) and Section 
I.B. of the FFO announcement for this request for applications. In-kind 
contributions, which may include assumptions of debt

[[Page 6117]]

and contributions of space, equipment, and services, are eligible to be 
included as part of the non-federal share of eligible project costs if 
they meet applicable federal cost principles and uniform administrative 
requirements. Funds from other federal financial assistance awards are 
considered matching share funds only if authorized by statute, which 
may be determined by EDA's reasonable interpretation of the statute. 
See 13 CFR 300.3. The applicant must show that the matching share is 
committed to the project for the entire project period, will be 
available as needed and is not conditioned or encumbered in any way 
that precludes its use consistent with the requirements of EDA 
investment assistance. See 13 CFR 301.5.
    Intergovernmental Review: Applications for funding under the 
University Center Economic Development Program are subject to the State 
review requirements imposed by Executive Order 12372, 
``Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs.''
    Evaluation and Selection Procedures: Prior to the review paneling 
process, EDA's Chicago and Philadelphia regional offices will undertake 
a technical review of each application to ensure that all required 
forms, signatures and documentation are present and that the 
application is in compliance with the requirements of this competitive 
solicitation. Applications failing to meet the technical requirements 
of this competitive solicitation will not be referred to the review 
panel.
    Applications meeting all technical requirements will undergo a 
merit review by EDA's Chicago and Philadelphia regional offices. The 
review panel will consist of federal employees, at least three (3) of 
whom will be members of EDA staff from the Chicago and Philadelphia 
regional offices, who will evaluate and competitively rate and rank all 
technically-sufficient applications using the criteria provided under 
``Evaluation Criteria'' below. The Regional Director of each regional 
office is the Selecting Official for the applications received from 
applicants located within that regional office's geographic service 
area. The review panel will submit to the Selecting Official a list of 
applicants recommended for funding.
    Evaluation Criteria: The evaluation of applications will be 
accomplished through a review using the following criteria, listed in 
descending order of importance: (i) Ability to satisfy one or more of 
the University Center-specific investment policy guidelines; (ii) 
applicant's ability to successfully implement the project; (iii) 
feasibility of the project budget; and (iv) cost of the project to the 
Federal government. Each criterion is described below.
    Ability to Satisfy One or More of the University Center-specific 
Investment Policy Guidelines. The following University Center-specific 
investment policy guidelines have been adapted from (i) EDA's general 
investment policy guidelines set forth in 13 CFR 301.8 and (ii) the 
specific award requirements for University Center projects listed in 13 
CFR 306.5 (each sub-criterion listed below will be given equivalent 
weight). You must provide responses to these University Center-specific 
investment policy guidelines as part of the Project Narrative discussed 
in Section IV.B.1. of the FFO announcement.
    1. Be market-based and results driven. An investment in an EDA 
University Center will capitalize on the university's competitive 
strengths and will bolster regional economic competitiveness, resulting 
in tangible, quantifiable improvements in regional economic health, 
such as increased numbers of higher-skill, higher-wage jobs, increased 
tax revenue or increased private sector investment.
    2. Have strong organizational leadership. An investment will have 
strong leadership, relevant project management experience, and a 
significant commitment of human resources talent to ensure a high-
performing University Center. Specifically for University Center 
investments, this includes: (a) The extent to which the proposed 
University Center will maximize coordination with other relevant 
organizations and avoid duplication of services offered by other 
organizations; (b) the extent to which the University Center will 
access, take advantage of, and be supported by the other resources 
present at the sponsoring institution, especially the institution's 
economic development activities; and (c) the degree of evidence 
demonstrating the support and commitment (both financial and non-
financial) of the highest management levels of the proposed University 
Center's sponsoring institution.
    3. Advance productivity, innovation and entrepreneurship. An 
investment in a proposed University Center will embrace the principles 
of entrepreneurship; enhance regional industry clusters, and leverage 
and link technology innovators (university research) with the private 
sector to create the conditions for greater productivity, innovation 
and higher-skill, higher-wage job creation.
    4. Look beyond the immediate economic horizon, anticipate economic 
changes, and diversify the local and regional economy. A University 
Center's activities will be part of an overarching, long-term 
comprehensive economic development strategy that enhances a region's 
success in achieving a rising standard of living.
    5. Demonstrate a high degree of local commitment by exhibiting:
     High levels of local government or non-profit matching 
funds and private sector leverage;
     Clear and unified leadership and support by local elected 
officials; and
     Strong cooperation between the business sector, relevant 
regional partners and local, State and Federal governments.
    Ability to Successfully Implement the Project: The review panel 
will evaluate the applicant's ability to successfully implement the 
project. This evaluation will include the extent to which the applicant 
(including its sponsoring institution) has successfully implemented 
past technical assistance projects, especially those involving economic 
development. The review panel also will evaluate the expertise of 
project staff, as well as the academic programs and other resources 
available within the sponsoring institution. See 13 CFR 306.5.
    Feasibility of Project Budget: The review panel will evaluate the 
feasibility of the project budget, including but not limited to the 
reasonableness and the allowability of project costs.
    Cost of the Project to the Federal Government: The review panel 
will evaluate the cost of the project to the Federal government, taking 
into account the technical assistance services to be performed by the 
University Center and how those services are anticipated to spur 
regional economic development. As provided under ``Cost Sharing 
Requirement'' in this request for applications and in Section I.B. of 
the FFO announcement, EDA will give a preference to those applications 
that include a cash contribution for the matching share requirement.
    Selection Factors: EDA expects to fund the highest ranking 
applications submitted under this competition solicitation. The 
Selecting Official will normally follow the recommendations of the 
review panel; however, the Selecting Official may decide not to make a 
selection, or he may select an application out of rank order for 
several reasons, including: (1) A determination that the application 
better meets the overall objectives of sections 2 and 207 of PWEDA (42 
U.S.C. 3121 and 3147);

[[Page 6118]]

(2) the availability of program funding; (3) the geographic balance in 
distribution of program funds; (4) program priorities as set forth in 
the FFO announcement; or (5) the applicant's performance under previous 
federal financial assistance awards.
    The Department of Commerce Pre-Award Notification Requirements for 
Grants and Cooperative Agreements: The administrative and national 
policy requirements for all Department of Commerce awards, contained in 
the Department of Commerce Pre-Award Notification Requirements for 
Grants and Cooperative Agreements, published in the Federal Register on 
December 30, 2004 (69 FR 78389), are applicable to this competitive 
solicitation.
    Teleconferences: The Chicago regional office will hold a pre-
application teleconference on March 5, 2008 at 10 a.m. (CST). The 
Philadelphia regional office will hold its pre-application 
teleconference call on March 12, 2008 at 2 p.m. (EST). These 
teleconferences will provide general program information and 
information regarding the preparation of applications for funding under 
this competitive solicitation. To ensure the integrity of this 
competition, EDA will not provide substantive information regarding the 
competition to prospective applicants outside of these scheduled 
teleconferences.
    To ensure that enough incoming lines are available for each caller, 
the Chicago regional office requires interested parties planning to 
participate on the teleconference to register no later than 5 p.m. 
(CST) on February 27, 2008; the Philadelphia regional office requires 
interested parties planning to participate on the teleconference to 
register no later than 4 p.m. (EST) on March 7, 2008. To register, 
please send an email with ``Teleconference Registration'' in the 
subject line to the designated contact person in the Chicago or 
Philadelphia regional office, as provided under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION 
CONTACT in this request for applications. The telephone number and pass 
code for each teleconference will be provided upon registration.
    Please be advised that the pre-application teleconferences may be 
audio-taped and the actual recordings or a transcript of the actual 
recording may be made available online for the benefit of prospective 
applicants unable to participate. Prospective applicants who choose to 
participate on the teleconferences are deemed to consent to the taping.
    Paperwork Reduction Act: This document contains collection-of-
information requirements subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA). 
The use of Form ED-900A (Application for Investment Assistance) has 
been approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the 
control number 0610-0094. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, 
no person is required to respond to, nor shall any person be subject to 
a penalty for failure to comply with, a collection of information 
subject to the requirements of the PRA unless that collection of 
information displays a currently valid OMB control number.
    Executive Order 12866: This notice has been determined to be not 
significant for purposes of Executive Order 12866.
    Executive Order 13132 (Federalism): It has been determined that 
this notice does not contain policies with Federalism implications as 
that term is defined in Executive Order 13132.
    Administrative Procedure Act/Regulatory Flexibility Act: Prior 
notice and an opportunity for public comments are not required by the 
Administrative Procedure Act or any other law for rules concerning 
grants, benefits, and contracts (5 U.S.C. 553(a)(2)). Because notice 
and opportunity for comment are not required pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553 
or any other law, the analytical requirements of the Regulatory 
Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) are inapplicable. Therefore, a 
regulatory flexibility analysis has not been prepared.

    Dated: January 28, 2008.
Sandy K. Baruah,
Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development.
[FR Doc. E8-1836 Filed 1-31-08; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-24-P