Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Availability of Funds for Projects To Develop and Demonstrate Integrated Tools, Training, and Methodologies for Growth Transformation and To Share With the MEP Program and Information Session for Potential Applicants, 33769-33772 [2010-14393]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 114 / Tuesday, June 15, 2010 / Notices subject to a penalty for failure to comply with, a collection of information subject to the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act, unless that collection of information displays a currently valid OMB Control Number. Funding Availability and Limitation of Liability: The funding periods and funding amounts referenced in this notice and request for proposals are subject to the availability of funds, as well as to Department of Commerce and NIST priorities at the time of award. The Department of Commerce and NIST will not be held responsible for proposal preparation costs. Publication of this notice does not obligate the Department of Commerce or NIST to award any specific grant or cooperative agreement or to obligate all or any part of available funds. Executive Order 12866: This funding notice was 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. Executive Order 12372: Applications under this program are not subject to Executive Order 12372, ‘‘Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs.’’ Administrative Procedure Act/ Regulatory Flexibility Act: Notice and comment are not required under the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 553) or any other law, for rules relating to public property, loans, grants, benefits or contracts (5 U.S.C. 553 (a)). Because notice and comment are not required under 5 U.S.C. 553, or any other law, for rules relating to public property, loans, grants, benefits or contracts (5 U.S.C. 553(a)), a Regulatory Flexibility Analysis is not required and has not been prepared for this notice, 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq. Dated: June 10, 2010. David M. Robinson, Chief Financial Officer. [FR Doc. 2010–14394 Filed 6–14–10; 8:45 am] mstockstill on DSKH9S0YB1PROD with NOTICES BILLING CODE 3510–13–P VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:15 Jun 14, 2010 Jkt 220001 DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Institute of Standards and Technology [Docket Number: 1006080242–0242–01] Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Availability of Funds for Projects To Develop and Demonstrate Integrated Tools, Training, and Methodologies for Growth Transformation and To Share With the MEP Program and Information Session for Potential Applicants AGENCY: National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Department of Commerce (DOC). ACTION: Notice. SUMMARY: The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) invites proposals from qualified organizations for projects that address new and emerging competitive needs of manufacturers in areas consistent with the NIST MEP Program’s five Strategic Growth Areas (Supply Chain, Sustainability, Technology Acceleration, Workforce and Continuous Improvement). Funded projects will improve the competitiveness of industries in the applicant’s region, and contribute to the long-term economic stability of the region. Please see the NIST MEP Web site, http://www.nist.gov/mep for details on these strategies. Funded projects will use innovative or collaborative approaches to develop and demonstrate integrated tools, training and methodologies for growth transformation that meet the Strategic Growth Area needs and to share those approaches with the MEP National System. NIST MEP will hold a webinar information session for organizations considering applying to this opportunity. All applications must be received or postmarked no later than 5:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Saving Time on July 15, 2010. Late proposals will not be reviewed. NIST MEP will hold a free webinar information session for organizations considering applying to this opportunity on June 22, 2010 at 2 p.m. Eastern Daylight Saving Time. Information Sessions: NIST MEP will hold an information session for organizations considering applying to this opportunity. The information session will be in the form of a webinar to be held on the date stated in the DATES section of this Federal Register Notice (7 days following the posting of the announcement). Registration information will be posted on the NIST DATES: PO 00000 Frm 00011 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 33769 MEP public Web site http:// www.nist.gov/mep. ADDRESSES: Hard copy submissions should be sent to: National Institute of Standards and Technology, Manufacturing Extension Partnership, c/o Diane Henderson, 100 Bureau Drive, Stop 4800, Gaithersburg, MD 20899– 4800. Electronic submissions should be uploaded to http://www.Grants.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: A paper copy of the Federal Register Notice (FRN) may be obtained by calling (301) 975–6328. Administrative, budget, cost-sharing, and eligibility questions should be addressed to Diane Henderson at Tel: (301) 975–5105; Email: diane.henderson@nist.gov; Fax: (301) 963–6556. Project evaluation criteria and other programmatic questions should be addressed to Alex Folk at Tel: (301) 975–8089; E-mail: alex.folk@nist.gov; Fax: (301) 963–6556. Grants Administration questions should be addressed to: Grants and Agreements Management Division, National Institute of Standards and Technology, 100 Bureau Drive, Stop 1650, Gaithersburg, MD 20899–1650; Tel: (301) 975–6328. For assistance with using Grants.gov contact support@grants.gov or call 800– 518–4726. All questions and responses will be posted on the MEP Web site, http://www.nist.gov/mep. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Electronic access: Applicants are strongly encouraged to read the Federal Funding Opportunity (FFO) announcement available at http:// www.grants.gov for complete information about this program, including all program requirements and instructions for applying by paper or electronically. The FFO may be found by searching under the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Name and Number provided below. Authority: 15 U.S.C. 278(k)(f). (Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Name and Number: Manufacturing Extension Partnership—11.611) Information Session: NIST MEP will hold a free information session for organizations considering applying to this opportunity. The information session will be in the form of a free webinar to be held on the date specified in the DATES section above at 2 p.m. Eastern Daylight Saving Time. Organizations wishing to participate in the webinar must register at the NIST MEP public Web site http:// www.nist.gov/mep. Program Description: The objective of NIST MEP program is to increase productivity, enhance technological performance, and strengthen the global E:\FR\FM\15JNN1.SGM 15JNN1 mstockstill on DSKH9S0YB1PROD with NOTICES 33770 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 114 / Tuesday, June 15, 2010 / Notices competitiveness of small- and mediumsized U.S. based manufacturing firms. In accordance with 15 U.S.C. 278k(f), the NIST Director, in consultation with the Director of the MEP Centers Program, the MEP Advisory Board, and small and medium-sized manufacturers, has identified five Strategic Growth Areas that address new or emerging manufacturing problems, which are addressed in this competition. The five Strategic Growth Areas upon which the competition will focus are: Supply Chain, Sustainability, Technology Acceleration, Workforce and Continuous Improvement. NIST invites proposals from qualified organizations for funding projects that address the five Strategic Growth Areas. Please see the NIST MEP Web site, http:// www.nist.gov/mep for details on these Strategic Growth Areas. Funded projects will improve the competitiveness of industries in the applicant’s region, and contribute to the long-term economic stability of the region. Competitive projects will use innovative or collaborative approaches to develop and demonstrate integrated tools, training and methodologies for growth transformation that meet the Strategic Growth Area needs and to share those approaches with the MEP National System. All organizations meeting eligibility requirements provided herein are invited to submit proposals. It is important that these awards be well aligned with the MEP national system of extension service providers in order to maximize the potential and impact of existing resources available to manufacturers through the MEP Program. Further information regarding this MEP Program is provided in the information packet, which can be obtained at http://www.grants.gov, with additional background information provided at http://www.nist.gov/mep. The proposal should include plans for integration into the MEP national system and linkages to appropriate national resources. Funding Availability: The total amount awarded under this solicitation will not exceed $3,500,000. Projects initiated under this category may be carried out over a period of up to three years. If NIST selects a proposal for a multi-year award, funding will generally be provided for only the first year of the program. Continuation of an award or extensions of the period of performance is at the total discretion of the NIST. If NIST selects an application for funding, NIST has no obligation to provide any additional future funding in connection with that award. Funding for each subsequent year of a multi-year VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:15 Jun 14, 2010 Jkt 220001 proposal will be contingent upon satisfactory progress and the availability of funds. Projects are expected to start within 30 days of award notice. Cost Share Requirements: Recipients of awards under this solicitation are not required to provide cost share. Eligibility: Eligible applicants include existing MEP extension centers or consortia of centers. A consortium of MEP centers is strongly encouraged to adequately demonstrate the leveraging of resources and competencies tied to the strategic areas. Application Requirements: Applications must be submitted in accordance with the requirements set forth in the corresponding FFO announcement. Evaluation Criteria: All qualified proposals will be evaluated based on the following seven criteria, which are assigned equal weighting. (1) Demonstration that the proposed project outputs and objectives are aligned with and will meet the technical assistance needs of technical assistance providers and manufacturers. The proposal must clearly articulate the needs to be addressed and solutions to be demonstrated within the proposed scope. The proposal should show that the efforts being proposed meet the needs identified and clearly defined deliverables. Factors that may be considered include: a clear articulation of the tools, training and methodologies to be developed; an articulation of the five MEP Strategic Growth Areas (Supply Chain, Sustainability, Technology Acceleration, Workforce and Continuous Improvement); and demonstration of what and how the proposed integration of the areas will be achieved. (2) Development methodology and leverage of existing resources. The proposal must describe the technical plan for the development of the tool(s) or resource(s), including a clearly articulated project plan for development, training and demonstration of the products or deliverables. Sources of expertise to be used should be clearly delineated and may include sources internal to the proposer or from other organizations. Factors that may be considered include: adequacy of the proposed technical plan; strength of core competency in the proposed area of activity; and demonstrated access to relevant subject matter expertise external to the organization. (3) Degree of integration with the manufacturing extension partnership. The proposal must demonstrate that the tool or resource will be integrated into PO 00000 Frm 00012 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 and will be of service to the NIST Manufacturing Extension Centers. Factors that may be considered include: ability to access the tool or resource especially by MEP extension centers; adequacy of methodology for disseminating or promoting use of the tool or technique especially within the MEP system; and demonstrated interest in using the tool or technique especially by MEP extension centers. A plan that reflects not only the development activities but the specific actions needed to educate, train and deploy within the MEP system is critical. (4) Coordination with other relevant organizations. Wherever possible the project should be coordinated with and leverage other organizations including other MEP extension centers which are developing or have expertise on similar tools, techniques, practices, or analyses. If no such organizations exist, the proposal should show that this is the case. Applicants will need to describe how they will coordinate to allow for increased economies of scale and to avoid duplication. Factors that may be considered include: demonstrated understanding of existing organizations and resources relevant to the proposed project; adequate linkages and partnerships with existing organizations and clear definition of those organizations’ roles in the proposed activities; and demonstration that the proposed activity does not duplicate existing services or resources. (5) Program evaluation. The applicant should specify plans for evaluation of the effectiveness of the proposed tool(s), or technique(s) or methodologies and for ensuring continuous improvement of each. Factors that may be considered include: Thoroughness of evaluation plans, (including internal evaluation for management control); use of adequate case studies for the use of external evaluation for assessing outcomes of the activity; adoption by MEP centers of products developed; and adequate ‘‘customer satisfaction’’ measures of performance. (6) Management experience and plans. Applicants should specify plans for proper project staffing, and management of the project. Factors that may be considered include: appropriateness and authority of the organization to conduct the proposed activities; qualifications of the project team and the project team’s leadership to conduct the proposed activity; and appropriateness of the organizational approach for carrying out the proposed project. (7) Financial plan. Applicants should show the relevance and cost effectiveness of the financial plan for E:\FR\FM\15JNN1.SGM 15JNN1 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 114 / Tuesday, June 15, 2010 / Notices meeting the objectives of the project; and the firmness and level of the applicant’s total financial capacity for the project. Factors that may be considered include: Reasonableness of the budget; strength of commitment; effectiveness of management plans for control of budget; and demonstration of past successful experience on similar projects. Selection Factors The Selecting Official, who is the Director of the NIST MEP Program, anticipates recommending proposals for funding in rank order of scores based on the criteria listed above unless a proposal is justified to be awarded out of rank order based on one or more of the following selection factors: 1. Availability of Federal funds. 2. Appropriate consideration for coverage of all five MEP Strategic Growth Areas. 3. Whether this project duplicates other projects funded by Department of Commerce or other Federal agencies. Proposal Review and Selection Process a. Proposal Qualification All proposals will be reviewed by NIST to assure that they are complete and responsive. All complete and responsive proposals will be designated qualified proposals; all others will be disqualified at this phase of the evaluation and selection process. mstockstill on DSKH9S0YB1PROD with NOTICES b. Proposal Review and Selection of Finalists NIST will appoint an evaluation panel to review and evaluate all qualified proposals in accordance with the evaluation criteria set forth in this part. The evaluation panel will consist of NIST employees, and in some cases, other federal employees or non-federal experts who sign non-disclosure agreements. If the review panel is composed of non-federal employees, the reviewers will provide individual scores, and no consensus advice will be given. A site visit may be required to fully evaluate a proposal. If NIST determines that site visits are necessary, the site visits would take place after the review panel conducts its initial review. The Evaluation Panel and Chair will conduct site visits for all proposals that meet a minimum threshold score to be determined by NIST. All proposals will be numerically ranked and then submitted to the Selecting Official, the Director of the NIST MEP Program for selection based on the ranking, site visit comments if conducted, and the selection factors listed above. VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:15 Jun 14, 2010 Jkt 220001 NIST may enter into negotiations with the finalists concerning any aspect of their proposal. c. Award Determination The Selecting Official shall select awardees based on total evaluation scores/rank and the selection factors provided above and make funding recommendations to the NIST Grants Officer. Upon the final award decision, a notification will be made to each of the proposing organizations. The final approval of selected applications and award of financial assistance will be made by the NIST Grants Officer based on compliance with application requirements as published in this notice, compliance with applicable legal and regulatory requirements, and whether the recommended applicants appear to be responsible. Applicants may be asked to modify objectives, work plans, or budgets and provide supplemental information required by the agency prior to award. As a result of the selection process, NIST may fund all, some, or parts of the eligible applications submitted, or none at all. The decision of the Grants Officer is final. Unsuccessful applicants will be notified in writing. The Program will retain one copy of each unsuccessful application for three years for record keeping purposes. The remaining copies will be destroyed. The Department of Commerce PreAward Notification Requirements for Grants and Cooperative Agreements: The Department of Commerce PreAward Notification Requirements for Grants and Cooperative Agreements, which are contained in the Federal Register Notice of February 11, 2008 (73 FR 7696), are applicable to this notice. Please refer to http:// www.gpoaccess.gov/fr/. Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering System: On the form SF–424 items 8.b. and 8.c., the applicant’s 9digit Employer/Taxpayer Identification Number (EIN/TIN) and 9-digit Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number must be consistent with the information on the Central Contractor Registration (CCR) (http://www.ccr.gov) and Automated Standard Application for Payment System (ASAP). For complex organizations with multiple EIN/TIN and DUNS numbers, the EIN/TIN and DUNS number MUST be the numbers for the applying organization. Organizations that provide incorrect/ inconsistent EIN/TIN and DUNS numbers may experience significant delays in receiving funds if their PO 00000 Frm 00013 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 33771 proposal is selected for funding. Please confirm that the EIN/TIN and DUNS number are consistent with the information on the CCR and ASAP. Paperwork Reduction Act: The standard forms in the application kit involve a collection of information subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act. The use of Standard Forms 424, 424A, 424B, SF–LLL, and CD–346 have been approved by OMB under the respective Control Numbers 0348–0043, 0348– 0044, 0348–0040, 0348–0046, and 0605– 0001. MEP program-specific application requirements have been approved by OMB under Control Number 0693–0056. Notwithstanding any other provision of the 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 Paperwork Reduction Act, unless that collection of information displays a currently valid OMB Control Number. Funding Availability and Limitation of Liability: The funding periods and funding amounts referenced in this notice and request for proposals are subject to the availability of funds, as well as to Department of Commerce and NIST priorities at the time of award. The Department of Commerce and NIST will not be held responsible for proposal preparation costs. Publication of this notice does not obligate the Department of Commerce or NIST to award any specific grant or cooperative agreement or to obligate all or any part of available funds. Executive Order 12866: This funding notice was 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. Executive Order 12372: Applications under this program are not subject to Executive Order 12372, ‘‘Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs.’’ Administrative Procedure Act/ Regulatory Flexibility Act: Notice and comment are not required under the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 553) or any other law, for rules relating to public property, loans, grants, benefits or contracts (5 U.S.C. 553 (a)). Because notice and comment are not required under 5 U.S.C. 553, or any other law, for rules relating to public property, loans, grants, benefits or contracts (5 U.S.C. 553(a)), a Regulatory Flexibility Analysis is not required and has not been prepared for this notice, 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq. E:\FR\FM\15JNN1.SGM 15JNN1 33772 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 114 / Tuesday, June 15, 2010 / Notices Dated: June 10, 2010. David M. Robinson, Chief Financial Officer. [FR Doc. 2010–14393 Filed 6–14–10; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–13–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A–557–813] Polyethylene Retail Carrier Bags From Malaysia: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review AGENCY: Import Administration, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce. SUMMARY: At the request of interested parties, the Department of Commerce (the Department) is conducting an administrative review of the antidumping duty order on polyethylene retail carrier bags (PRCBs) from Malaysia. The review covers one manufacturer/exporter. The period of review is August 1, 2008, through July 31, 2009. We have preliminarily determined that sales have been made at prices below normal value by Euro Plastics Malaysia Sdn. Bhd. We invite interested parties to comment on these preliminary results. Parties who submit comments in this review are requested to submit with each argument a statement of the issue and a brief summary of the argument. DATES: Effective Date: June 15, 2010. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jerrold Freeman or Richard Rimlinger, AD/CVD Operations, Office 5, Import Administration, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482–0180 or (202) 482– 4477, respectively. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: mstockstill on DSKH9S0YB1PROD with NOTICES Background On August 9, 2004, we published in the Federal Register the antidumping duty order on PRCBs from Malaysia. See Antidumping Duty Order: Polyethylene Retail Carrier Bags From Malaysia, 69 FR 48203 (August 9, 2004). On August 3, 2009, we published in the Federal Register a notice of opportunity to request an administrative review of the antidumping duty order on PRCBs from Malaysia. See Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Order, Finding, or Suspended Investigation; Opportunity To Request Administrative Review, 74 FR 38397 (August 3, 2009). Pursuant to section 751(a)(1) of the Tariff Act of VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:15 Jun 14, 2010 Jkt 220001 1930, as amended (the Act), and 19 CFR 351.213(b), the Polyethylene Retail Carrier Bag Committee and its individual members, Hilex Poly Co., LLC, and Superbag Corporation (collectively, the petitioners), and Euro Plastics Malaysia Sdn. Bhd. and its affiliated trading company, Eplastics Procurement Center Sdn. Bhd. (collectively, Euro Plastics), requested an administrative review of the antidumping duty order on PRCBs from Malaysia with respect to Euro Plastics. On September 22, 2009, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.221(c)(1)(i), we initiated the administrative review of the antidumping duty order on PRCBs from Malaysia for the period of review. See Initiation of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Administrative Reviews and Request for Revocation in Part, 74 FR 48224 (September 22, 2009). Although Euro Plastics withdrew its request for the Department to conduct the administrative review on October 30, 2009, the request by the petitioners for the Department to conduct an administrative review of Euro Plastics remains in effect. As explained in the memorandum from the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Import Administration, we have exercised our discretion to toll deadlines for the duration of the closure of the Federal Government from February 5 through February 12, 2010. Thus, all deadlines in this segment of the proceeding have been extended by seven days. See Memorandum to the Record from Ronald Lorentzen, DAS for Import Administration, regarding ‘‘Tolling of Administrative Deadlines As a Result of the Government Closure During the Recent Snowstorm,’’ dated February 12, 2010. On May 7, 2010, we extended the due date for the preliminary results of this administrative review to June 9, 2010. See Polyethylene Retail Carrier Bags From Malaysia: Extension of Time Limit for Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review, 75 FR 25207 (May 7, 2010). Period of Review The period of review is August 1, 2008, through July 31, 2009. Scope of the Order The merchandise subject to the antidumping duty order is PRCBs which may be referred to as t-shirt sacks, merchandise bags, grocery bags, or checkout bags. The subject merchandise is defined as non-sealable sacks and bags with handles (including drawstrings), without zippers or integral extruded closures, with or without gussets, with or without printing, of PO 00000 Frm 00014 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 polyethylene film having a thickness no greater than 0.035 inch (0.889 mm) and no less than 0.00035 inch (0.00889 mm), and with no length or width shorter than 6 inches (15.24 cm) or longer than 40 inches (101.6 cm). The depth of the bag may be shorter than 6 inches (15.24 cm) but not longer than 40 inches (101.6 cm). PRCBs are typically provided without any consumer packaging and free of charge by retail establishments, e.g., grocery, drug, convenience, department, specialty retail, discount stores, and restaurants, to their customers to package and carry their purchased products. The scope of the order excludes (1) polyethylene bags that are not printed with logos or store names and that are closeable with drawstrings made of polyethylene film and (2) polyethylene bags that are packed in consumer packaging with printing that refers to specific end-uses other than packaging and carrying merchandise from retail establishments, e.g., garbage bags, lawn bags, trashcan liners. Imports of the subject merchandise are currently classifiable under statistical category 3923.21.0085 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). This subheading also covers products that are outside the scope of the order. Furthermore, although the HTSUS subheading is provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the scope of the order is dispositive. Use of Adverse Facts Available For the reasons discussed below, we determine that the use of adverse facts available is appropriate for the preliminary results with respect to Euro Plastics. A. Use of Facts Available Section 776(a)(2) of the Act provides that, if an interested party withholds information requested by the administering authority, fails to provide such information by the deadlines for submission of the information and in the form or manner requested, significantly impedes a proceeding under this title, or provides such information but the information cannot be verified as provided in section 782(i) of the Act, the Department shall use facts otherwise available in reaching the applicable determination. On September 28, 2009, we sent our questionnaire to Euro Plastics. On October 30, 2009, Euro Plastics withdrew the request for the Department to conduct the 2008–2009 administrative review because, as explained in the submission, Euro E:\FR\FM\15JNN1.SGM 15JNN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 114 (Tuesday, June 15, 2010)]
[Notices]
[Pages 33769-33772]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-14393]


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

DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Institute of Standards and Technology

[Docket Number: 1006080242-0242-01]


Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Availability of Funds 
for Projects To Develop and Demonstrate Integrated Tools, Training, and 
Methodologies for Growth Transformation and To Share With the MEP 
Program and Information Session for Potential Applicants

AGENCY: National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), 
Department of Commerce (DOC).

ACTION: Notice.

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

SUMMARY: The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) 
invites proposals from qualified organizations for projects that 
address new and emerging competitive needs of manufacturers in areas 
consistent with the NIST MEP Program's five Strategic Growth Areas 
(Supply Chain, Sustainability, Technology Acceleration, Workforce and 
Continuous Improvement). Funded projects will improve the 
competitiveness of industries in the applicant's region, and contribute 
to the long-term economic stability of the region. Please see the NIST 
MEP Web site, http://www.nist.gov/mep for details on these strategies. 
Funded projects will use innovative or collaborative approaches to 
develop and demonstrate integrated tools, training and methodologies 
for growth transformation that meet the Strategic Growth Area needs and 
to share those approaches with the MEP National System. NIST MEP will 
hold a webinar information session for organizations considering 
applying to this opportunity.

DATES: All applications must be received or postmarked no later than 
5:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Saving Time on July 15, 2010. Late proposals 
will not be reviewed. NIST MEP will hold a free webinar information 
session for organizations considering applying to this opportunity on 
June 22, 2010 at 2 p.m. Eastern Daylight Saving Time.
    Information Sessions: NIST MEP will hold an information session for 
organizations considering applying to this opportunity. The information 
session will be in the form of a webinar to be held on the date stated 
in the DATES section of this Federal Register Notice (7 days following 
the posting of the announcement). Registration information will be 
posted on the NIST MEP public Web site http://www.nist.gov/mep.

ADDRESSES: Hard copy submissions should be sent to: National Institute 
of Standards and Technology, Manufacturing Extension Partnership, c/o 
Diane Henderson, 100 Bureau Drive, Stop 4800, Gaithersburg, MD 20899-
4800. Electronic submissions should be uploaded to http://www.Grants.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: A paper copy of the Federal Register 
Notice (FRN) may be obtained by calling (301) 975-6328. Administrative, 
budget, cost-sharing, and eligibility questions should be addressed to 
Diane Henderson at Tel: (301) 975-5105; E-mail: 
diane.henderson@nist.gov; Fax: (301) 963-6556. Project evaluation 
criteria and other programmatic questions should be addressed to Alex 
Folk at Tel: (301) 975-8089; E-mail: alex.folk@nist.gov; Fax: (301) 
963-6556. Grants Administration questions should be addressed to: 
Grants and Agreements Management Division, National Institute of 
Standards and Technology, 100 Bureau Drive, Stop 1650, Gaithersburg, MD 
20899-1650; Tel: (301) 975-6328. For assistance with using Grants.gov 
contact support@grants.gov or call 800-518-4726. All questions and 
responses will be posted on the MEP Web site, http://www.nist.gov/mep.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:
    Electronic access: Applicants are strongly encouraged to read the 
Federal Funding Opportunity (FFO) announcement available at http://
www.grants.gov for complete information about this program, including 
all program requirements and instructions for applying by paper or 
electronically. The FFO may be found by searching under the Catalog of 
Federal Domestic Assistance Name and Number provided below.

    Authority:  15 U.S.C. 278(k)(f).

(Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Name and Number: 
Manufacturing Extension Partnership--11.611)

    Information Session: NIST MEP will hold a free information session 
for organizations considering applying to this opportunity. The 
information session will be in the form of a free webinar to be held on 
the date specified in the DATES section above at 2 p.m. Eastern 
Daylight Saving Time. Organizations wishing to participate in the 
webinar must register at the NIST MEP public Web site http://www.nist.gov/mep.
    Program Description: The objective of NIST MEP program is to 
increase productivity, enhance technological performance, and 
strengthen the global

[[Page 33770]]

competitiveness of small- and medium-sized U.S. based manufacturing 
firms. In accordance with 15 U.S.C. 278k(f), the NIST Director, in 
consultation with the Director of the MEP Centers Program, the MEP 
Advisory Board, and small and medium-sized manufacturers, has 
identified five Strategic Growth Areas that address new or emerging 
manufacturing problems, which are addressed in this competition. The 
five Strategic Growth Areas upon which the competition will focus are: 
Supply Chain, Sustainability, Technology Acceleration, Workforce and 
Continuous Improvement. NIST invites proposals from qualified 
organizations for funding projects that address the five Strategic 
Growth Areas. Please see the NIST MEP Web site, http://www.nist.gov/mep 
for details on these Strategic Growth Areas. Funded projects will 
improve the competitiveness of industries in the applicant's region, 
and contribute to the long-term economic stability of the region. 
Competitive projects will use innovative or collaborative approaches to 
develop and demonstrate integrated tools, training and methodologies 
for growth transformation that meet the Strategic Growth Area needs and 
to share those approaches with the MEP National System.
    All organizations meeting eligibility requirements provided herein 
are invited to submit proposals.
    It is important that these awards be well aligned with the MEP 
national system of extension service providers in order to maximize the 
potential and impact of existing resources available to manufacturers 
through the MEP Program. Further information regarding this MEP Program 
is provided in the information packet, which can be obtained at http://
www.grants.gov, with additional background information provided at 
http://www.nist.gov/mep.
    The proposal should include plans for integration into the MEP 
national system and linkages to appropriate national resources.
    Funding Availability: The total amount awarded under this 
solicitation will not exceed $3,500,000.
    Projects initiated under this category may be carried out over a 
period of up to three years. If NIST selects a proposal for a multi-
year award, funding will generally be provided for only the first year 
of the program. Continuation of an award or extensions of the period of 
performance is at the total discretion of the NIST. If NIST selects an 
application for funding, NIST has no obligation to provide any 
additional future funding in connection with that award. Funding for 
each subsequent year of a multi-year proposal will be contingent upon 
satisfactory progress and the availability of funds. Projects are 
expected to start within 30 days of award notice.
    Cost Share Requirements: Recipients of awards under this 
solicitation are not required to provide cost share.
    Eligibility: Eligible applicants include existing MEP extension 
centers or consortia of centers. A consortium of MEP centers is 
strongly encouraged to adequately demonstrate the leveraging of 
resources and competencies tied to the strategic areas.
    Application Requirements: Applications must be submitted in 
accordance with the requirements set forth in the corresponding FFO 
announcement.
    Evaluation Criteria: All qualified proposals will be evaluated 
based on the following seven criteria, which are assigned equal 
weighting.
    (1) Demonstration that the proposed project outputs and objectives 
are aligned with and will meet the technical assistance needs of 
technical assistance providers and manufacturers. The proposal must 
clearly articulate the needs to be addressed and solutions to be 
demonstrated within the proposed scope. The proposal should show that 
the efforts being proposed meet the needs identified and clearly 
defined deliverables.
    Factors that may be considered include: a clear articulation of the 
tools, training and methodologies to be developed; an articulation of 
the five MEP Strategic Growth Areas (Supply Chain, Sustainability, 
Technology Acceleration, Workforce and Continuous Improvement); and 
demonstration of what and how the proposed integration of the areas 
will be achieved.
    (2) Development methodology and leverage of existing resources. The 
proposal must describe the technical plan for the development of the 
tool(s) or resource(s), including a clearly articulated project plan 
for development, training and demonstration of the products or 
deliverables. Sources of expertise to be used should be clearly 
delineated and may include sources internal to the proposer or from 
other organizations. Factors that may be considered include: adequacy 
of the proposed technical plan; strength of core competency in the 
proposed area of activity; and demonstrated access to relevant subject 
matter expertise external to the organization.
    (3) Degree of integration with the manufacturing extension 
partnership. The proposal must demonstrate that the tool or resource 
will be integrated into and will be of service to the NIST 
Manufacturing Extension Centers. Factors that may be considered 
include: ability to access the tool or resource especially by MEP 
extension centers; adequacy of methodology for disseminating or 
promoting use of the tool or technique especially within the MEP 
system; and demonstrated interest in using the tool or technique 
especially by MEP extension centers. A plan that reflects not only the 
development activities but the specific actions needed to educate, 
train and deploy within the MEP system is critical.
    (4) Coordination with other relevant organizations. Wherever 
possible the project should be coordinated with and leverage other 
organizations including other MEP extension centers which are 
developing or have expertise on similar tools, techniques, practices, 
or analyses. If no such organizations exist, the proposal should show 
that this is the case. Applicants will need to describe how they will 
coordinate to allow for increased economies of scale and to avoid 
duplication. Factors that may be considered include: demonstrated 
understanding of existing organizations and resources relevant to the 
proposed project; adequate linkages and partnerships with existing 
organizations and clear definition of those organizations' roles in the 
proposed activities; and demonstration that the proposed activity does 
not duplicate existing services or resources.
    (5) Program evaluation. The applicant should specify plans for 
evaluation of the effectiveness of the proposed tool(s), or 
technique(s) or methodologies and for ensuring continuous improvement 
of each. Factors that may be considered include: Thoroughness of 
evaluation plans, (including internal evaluation for management 
control); use of adequate case studies for the use of external 
evaluation for assessing outcomes of the activity; adoption by MEP 
centers of products developed; and adequate ``customer satisfaction'' 
measures of performance.
    (6) Management experience and plans. Applicants should specify 
plans for proper project staffing, and management of the project. 
Factors that may be considered include: appropriateness and authority 
of the organization to conduct the proposed activities; qualifications 
of the project team and the project team's leadership to conduct the 
proposed activity; and appropriateness of the organizational approach 
for carrying out the proposed project.
    (7) Financial plan. Applicants should show the relevance and cost 
effectiveness of the financial plan for

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meeting the objectives of the project; and the firmness and level of 
the applicant's total financial capacity for the project. Factors that 
may be considered include: Reasonableness of the budget; strength of 
commitment; effectiveness of management plans for control of budget; 
and demonstration of past successful experience on similar projects.

Selection Factors

    The Selecting Official, who is the Director of the NIST MEP 
Program, anticipates recommending proposals for funding in rank order 
of scores based on the criteria listed above unless a proposal is 
justified to be awarded out of rank order based on one or more of the 
following selection factors:
    1. Availability of Federal funds.
    2. Appropriate consideration for coverage of all five MEP Strategic 
Growth Areas.
    3. Whether this project duplicates other projects funded by 
Department of Commerce or other Federal agencies.

Proposal Review and Selection Process

a. Proposal Qualification

    All proposals will be reviewed by NIST to assure that they are 
complete and responsive.
    All complete and responsive proposals will be designated qualified 
proposals; all others will be disqualified at this phase of the 
evaluation and selection process.

b. Proposal Review and Selection of Finalists

    NIST will appoint an evaluation panel to review and evaluate all 
qualified proposals in accordance with the evaluation criteria set 
forth in this part. The evaluation panel will consist of NIST 
employees, and in some cases, other federal employees or non-federal 
experts who sign non-disclosure agreements. If the review panel is 
composed of non-federal employees, the reviewers will provide 
individual scores, and no consensus advice will be given. A site visit 
may be required to fully evaluate a proposal. If NIST determines that 
site visits are necessary, the site visits would take place after the 
review panel conducts its initial review. The Evaluation Panel and 
Chair will conduct site visits for all proposals that meet a minimum 
threshold score to be determined by NIST. All proposals will be 
numerically ranked and then submitted to the Selecting Official, the 
Director of the NIST MEP Program for selection based on the ranking, 
site visit comments if conducted, and the selection factors listed 
above.
    NIST may enter into negotiations with the finalists concerning any 
aspect of their proposal.

c. Award Determination

    The Selecting Official shall select awardees based on total 
evaluation scores/rank and the selection factors provided above and 
make funding recommendations to the NIST Grants Officer. Upon the final 
award decision, a notification will be made to each of the proposing 
organizations.
    The final approval of selected applications and award of financial 
assistance will be made by the NIST Grants Officer based on compliance 
with application requirements as published in this notice, compliance 
with applicable legal and regulatory requirements, and whether the 
recommended applicants appear to be responsible. Applicants may be 
asked to modify objectives, work plans, or budgets and provide 
supplemental information required by the agency prior to award. As a 
result of the selection process, NIST may fund all, some, or parts of 
the eligible applications submitted, or none at all. The decision of 
the Grants Officer is final.
    Unsuccessful applicants will be notified in writing. The Program 
will retain one copy of each unsuccessful application for three years 
for record keeping purposes. The remaining copies will be destroyed.
    The Department of Commerce Pre-Award Notification Requirements for 
Grants and Cooperative Agreements: The Department of Commerce Pre-Award 
Notification Requirements for Grants and Cooperative Agreements, which 
are contained in the Federal Register Notice of February 11, 2008 (73 
FR 7696), are applicable to this notice. Please refer to http://
www.gpoaccess.gov/fr/.
    Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering System: On the form SF-
424 items 8.b. and 8.c., the applicant's 9-digit Employer/Taxpayer 
Identification Number (EIN/TIN) and 9-digit Dun and Bradstreet Data 
Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number must be consistent with the 
information on the Central Contractor Registration (CCR) (http://
www.ccr.gov) and Automated Standard Application for Payment System 
(ASAP). For complex organizations with multiple EIN/TIN and DUNS 
numbers, the EIN/TIN and DUNS number MUST be the numbers for the 
applying organization. Organizations that provide incorrect/
inconsistent EIN/TIN and DUNS numbers may experience significant delays 
in receiving funds if their proposal is selected for funding. Please 
confirm that the EIN/TIN and DUNS number are consistent with the 
information on the CCR and ASAP.
    Paperwork Reduction Act: The standard forms in the application kit 
involve a collection of information subject to the Paperwork Reduction 
Act. The use of Standard Forms 424, 424A, 424B, SF-LLL, and CD-346 have 
been approved by OMB under the respective Control Numbers 0348-0043, 
0348-0044, 0348-0040, 0348-0046, and 0605-0001. MEP program-specific 
application requirements have been approved by OMB under Control Number 
0693-0056.
    Notwithstanding any other provision of the 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 Paperwork Reduction Act, unless that collection of 
information displays a currently valid OMB Control Number.
    Funding Availability and Limitation of Liability: The funding 
periods and funding amounts referenced in this notice and request for 
proposals are subject to the availability of funds, as well as to 
Department of Commerce and NIST priorities at the time of award. The 
Department of Commerce and NIST will not be held responsible for 
proposal preparation costs. Publication of this notice does not 
obligate the Department of Commerce or NIST to award any specific grant 
or cooperative agreement or to obligate all or any part of available 
funds.
    Executive Order 12866: This funding notice was 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.
    Executive Order 12372: Applications under this program are not 
subject to Executive Order 12372, ``Intergovernmental Review of Federal 
Programs.''
    Administrative Procedure Act/Regulatory Flexibility Act: Notice and 
comment are not required under the Administrative Procedure Act (5 
U.S.C. 553) or any other law, for rules relating to public property, 
loans, grants, benefits or contracts (5 U.S.C. 553 (a)). Because notice 
and comment are not required under 5 U.S.C. 553, or any other law, for 
rules relating to public property, loans, grants, benefits or contracts 
(5 U.S.C. 553(a)), a Regulatory Flexibility Analysis is not required 
and has not been prepared for this notice, 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.


[[Page 33772]]


    Dated: June 10, 2010.
David M. Robinson,
Chief Financial Officer.
[FR Doc. 2010-14393 Filed 6-14-10; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-13-P