Award Competitions for Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Centers in the States of Colorado, Connecticut, Indiana, Michigan, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia, 44746-44752 [2014-18264]

Download as PDF 44746 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 148 / Friday, August 1, 2014 / Notices Cash Deposit Requirements The following cash deposit requirements will be effective for all shipments of subject merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the publication date of this notice of final results of the administrative review, as provided by section 751(a)(2)(C) of the Act: (1) For Ercros S.A., which claimed no shipments, the cash deposit rate will remain unchanged from the rate assigned to Ercros S.A. in the most recently completed review of the company; (2) for other manufacturers and exporters covered in a prior segment of the proceeding, the cash deposit rate will continue to be the company-specific rate published for the most recently completed segment of this proceeding in which that manufacturer or exporter participated; (3) if the exporter is not a firm covered in this review, a prior review, or the original investigation, but the manufacturer is, the cash deposit rate will be the rate established for the most recently completed segment of this proceeding for the manufacturer of subject merchandise; and (4) the cash deposit rate for all other manufacturers or exporters will continue to be 24.83 percent, the all-others rate established in the investigation.11 Notification to Importers This notice also serves as a final reminder to importers of their responsibility under 19 CFR 351.402(f)(2) to file a certificate regarding the reimbursement of antidumping duties prior to liquidation of the relevant entries during this review period. Failure to comply with this requirement could result in the Secretary’s presumption that reimbursement of antidumping duties occurred and the subsequent assessment of double antidumping duties. tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Administrative Protective Order This notice also serves as a reminder to parties subject to administrative protective order (‘‘APO’’) of their responsibility concerning the disposition of proprietary information disclosed under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305(a)(3). Timely written notification of the return or destruction of APO materials, or conversion to judicial protective order, is hereby requested. Failure to comply with the regulations and terms of an APO is a sanctionable violation. 11 See Chlorinated Isocyanurates from Spain: Notice of Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value, 70 FR 24506 (May 10, 2005). VerDate Mar<15>2010 22:09 Jul 31, 2014 Jkt 232001 We are issuing and publishing this administrative review and notice in accordance with sections 751(a)(1) and 777(i) of the Act. Dated: July 28, 2014. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. [FR Doc. 2014–18230 Filed 7–31–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–DS–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Institute of Standards and Technology [Docket Number 140723615–4615–01] RIN 0693–ZB08 Award Competitions for Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Centers in the States of Colorado, Connecticut, Indiana, Michigan, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), United States Department of Commerce (DoC). ACTION: Notice of funding availability. AGENCY: NIST invites applications from eligible applicants in connection with NIST’s funding of up to ten (10) separate MEP cooperative agreements for the operation of an MEP Center in the designated States’ service areas and in the funding amounts identified in Section II.2. of the corresponding Announcement of Federal Funding Opportunity (FFO). NIST anticipates awarding one (1) cooperative agreement for each of the identified States. The objective of the MEP Center Program is to provide manufacturing extension services to primarily small and mediumsized manufacturers within the State designated in the applications. The selected MEP Centers will become part of the MEP national system of extension service providers, currently comprised of more than 400 Centers and field offices located throughout the United States and Puerto Rico. DATES: Electronic applications must be received no later than 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on October 15, 2014. Applications received after the deadline will not be reviewed or considered. The approximate start date for awards under this notice and the corresponding FFO is expected to be July 1, 2015. ADDRESSES: Applications must be submitted electronically through www.Grants.gov. NIST will not accept applications submitted by mail, facsimile, or by email. See Section IV. SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00009 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 in the Full Announcement Text of the corresponding FFO. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Administrative, budget, cost-sharing, and eligibility questions and other programmatic questions should be directed to Diane Henderson at Tel: (301) 975–5105; Email: diane. henderson@nist.gov; Fax: (301) 963– 6556. Grants Administration questions should be addressed to: Jannet Cancino, Grants and Agreements Management Division, National Institute of Standards and Technology, 100 Bureau Drive, Stop 1650, Gaithersburg, MD 20899–1650; Tel: (301) 975–6544; Email: jannet. cancino@nist.gov; Fax: (301) 926–6319. For assistance with using Grants.gov contact Christopher Hunton at Tel: (301) 975–5718; Email: christopher.hunton@ nist.gov; Fax: (301) 975–8884. Questions submitted to NIST/MEP may be posted as part of an FAQ document, which will be periodically updated on the MEP Web site at http://www.nist.gov/mep/ ffo_state-competitions.cfm. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Electronic access: Applicants are strongly encouraged to read the corresponding Federal Funding Opportunity (FFO) announcement available at www.grants.gov for complete information about this program, including all program requirements and instructions for applying electronically. Paper applications or electronic applications submitted other than through www.grants.gov will not be accepted. The FFO may be found by searching under the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Name and Number provided below. Authority: 15 U.S.C. 278k, as implemented in 15 CFR part 290. Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Name and Number: Manufacturing Extension Partnership— 11.611. Webinar Information Session: NIST/ MEP will hold an information session for organizations that are considering applying for this funding opportunity. This webinar will provide general information regarding MEP and offer general guidance on preparing proposals. NIST/MEP staff will be available at the webinar to answer general questions. During the webinar, proprietary technical discussions about specific project ideas will not be permitted. Also, NIST/MEP staff will not critique or provide feedback on any project ideas during the webinar or at any time before submission of a proposal to MEP. However, NIST/MEP staff will provide information about the MEP eligibility and cost-sharing E:\FR\FM\01AUN1.SGM 01AUN1 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 148 / Friday, August 1, 2014 / Notices requirements, evaluation criteria and selection factors, selection process, and the general characteristics of a competitive MEP proposal during this webinar. The webinar will be held approximately fourteen (14) business days after posting of the FFO and publication of this notice. The exact date and time of the webinar will be posted on the MEP Web site at http:// www.nist.gov/mep/ffo_statecompetitions.cfm. The webinar will be recorded, and a link to the recording will be posted on the MEP Web site. In addition, the webinar presentation will be available after the webinar on the MEP Web site. Organizations wishing to participate in the webinar must register in advance by contacting MEP by email at mepffo@nist.gov. Participation in the webinar is not required in order for an organization to submit an application pursuant to this notice and the corresponding FFO. Program Description: NIST invites applications from eligible applicants in connection with NIST’s funding up to ten (10) separate MEP cooperative agreements for the operation of an MEP Center in the designated State service areas and in the funding amounts identified in Section II.2. of the corresponding FFO. NIST anticipates awarding one (1) cooperative agreement for each of the identified States. The objective of the MEP Center Program is to provide manufacturing extension services to primarily small and mediumsized manufacturers within the State designated in the applications. The selected MEP Centers will become part of the MEP national system of extension service providers, currently comprised of more than 400 Centers and field offices located throughout the United States and Puerto Rico. See the corresponding FFO for further information about the Manufacturing Extension Partnership and the MEP National Network. The MEP Program is not a Federal research and development program. It is not the intent of this program that awardees will perform systematic research. To learn more about the MEP Program, please go to http:// www.nist.gov/mep/. Funding Availability: NIST anticipates funding ten (10) MEP Center awards with an initial five-year period of performance in accordance with the multi-year funding policy described in Section II.3. of the corresponding FFO. Initial funding for the projects listed in this notice and the corresponding FFO is contingent upon the availability of appropriated funds. Below are the ten (10) States identified for funding as part of this notice and the corresponding FFO: Annual federal funding for each year of the award MEP center location and assigned geographical service area (by state) tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Colorado .................................................................................................................................................................. Connecticut .............................................................................................................................................................. Indiana ..................................................................................................................................................................... Michigan ................................................................................................................................................................... New Hampshire ....................................................................................................................................................... North Carolina .......................................................................................................................................................... Oregon ..................................................................................................................................................................... Tennessee ............................................................................................................................................................... Texas ....................................................................................................................................................................... Virginia ..................................................................................................................................................................... Multi-Year Funding Policy. When an application for a multi-year award is approved, funding will usually be provided for only the first year of the project. Recipients will be required to submit detailed budgets and budget narratives prior to the award of any continued funding. Continued funding for the remaining years of the project will be awarded by NIST on a noncompetitive basis, and may be adjusted higher or lower from year-to-year of the award, contingent upon satisfactory performance, continued relevance to the mission and priorities of the program, and the availability of funds. Continuation of an award to extend the period of performance and/or to increase or decrease funding is at the sole discretion of NIST. Potential for Additional 5 Years. Initial awards issued pursuant to this notice and the corresponding FFO are expected to be for up to five (5) years with the possibility for NIST to renew for an additional 5 years at the end of the initial award period. The review processes in 15 CFR 290.8 will be used VerDate Mar<15>2010 22:09 Jul 31, 2014 Jkt 232001 as part of the overall assessment of the recipient, consistent with the potential long-term nature and purpose of the program. In considering renewal for a second five-year, multi-year award term, NIST will evaluate the results of the annual reviews and the results of the 3rd Year peer-based Panel Review findings and recommendations as set forth in 15 CFR 290.8, as well as the Center’s progress in addressing findings and recommendations made during the various reviews. The full process is expected to include programmatic, policy, financial, administrative, and responsibility assessments, and the availability of funds, consistent with Department of Commerce and NIST policies and procedures in effect at that time. Kick-Off Conferences Each recipient will be required to attend a kick-off conference, which will be held at NIST at the beginning of the project period, to help ensure that the MEP Center operator has a clear understanding of the program and its PO 00000 Frm 00010 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 44747 $1,668,359 1,476,247 2,758,688 4,229,175 628,176 3,036,183 1,792,029 1,976,348 6,700,881 1,722,571 Total federal funding for 5 year award period $8,341,795 7,381,235 13,793,440 21,145,875 3,140,880 15,180,915 8,960,145 9,881,740 33,504,405 8,612,855 components. The kick-off conference will take place at NIST/MEP headquarters in Gaithersburg, MD, during which time NIST will: (1) Orient MEP Center key personnel to the MEP program; (2) explain program and financial reporting requirements and procedures; (3) identify available resources that can enhance the capabilities of the MEP Center; and (4) develop a detailed five-year operating plan. NIST/MEP anticipates an additional set of site visits at the MEP Center and/or telephonic meetings with the recipient to finalize the five-year operating plan. The kick-off conference will take up to approximately 5 days and must be attended by the MEP Center Director, along with up to two additional MEP Center employees. Applicants must include travel and related costs for the kick-off conference as part of the budget for year one (1), and these costs should be reflected in the SF–424A covering the first four (4) years of the project. (See Section IV.2.a.(2). of the corresponding FFO.) These costs must E:\FR\FM\01AUN1.SGM 01AUN1 44748 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 148 / Friday, August 1, 2014 / Notices also be reflected in the budget table and budget narrative for year 1, which is submitted as part of the budget tables and budget narratives section of the Technical Proposal. (See Section IV.2.a.(6).(d). of the corresponding FFO.) MEP System-Wide Meetings NIST/MEP typically organizes systemwide meetings four times a year (generally on a quarterly basis) in an effort to share best practices, new and emerging trends, and additional topics of interest. These meetings take place at NIST/MEP headquarters in Gaithersburg, MD and typically involve 3–4 days of resource time and associated travel costs. The MEP Center Director must attend these meetings, along with up to two additional MEP Center employees. Applicants must include travel and related costs for four quarterly MEP system-wide meetings in each of the five (5) project years (4 meetings per year; 20 total meetings over five-year award period). These costs must be reflected in the SF–424A covering the first four (4) years of the project (See Section IV.2.a.(2). of the corresponding FFO) and in the SF–424A covering year five (5) of the project (See Section IV.2.a.(10). of the corresponding FFO). These costs must also be reflected in the budget tables and budget narratives for each of the project’s five (5) years, which are submitted in the budget tables and budget narratives section of the Technical Proposal. (See Section IV.2.a.(6).(d). of the corresponding FFO). Cost Share or Matching Requirement: Non-Federal cost sharing of at least 50 percent of the total project costs is required for each of the first through the third year of the award, with an increasing minimum non-federal cost share contribution beginning in year 4 of the award as follows: Maximum NIST share Award year tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 1–3 ........................................................................................................................................................................... 4 ............................................................................................................................................................................... 5 and beyond ........................................................................................................................................................... Non-Federal cost sharing is that portion of the project costs not borne by the Federal Government. The applicant’s share of the MEP Center expenses may include cash, services, and third party in-kind contributions, as described at 15 CFR 14.23 or 24.24, as applicable, and in the MEP program regulations at 15 CFR 290.4(c). No more than 50% of the applicant’s total nonFederal cost share for any year of the award may be from third party in-kind contributions of part-time personnel, equipment, software, rental value of centrally located space, and related contributions, per 15 CFR 290.4(c)(5). The source and detailed rationale of the cost share, including cash, full- and part-time personnel, and in-kind donations, must be documented in the budget tables and budget narratives submitted with the application and will be considered as part of the review under the evaluation criterion found in Section V.1.c.i. of the corresponding FFO. Recipients must meet the minimum non-federal cost share requirements for each year of the award as identified in the chart above. For purposes of the MEP Program, ‘‘program income’’ (as defined in 15 CFR 14.2(aa) and in 15 CFR 24.25(b), as applicable) generated by an MEP Center may be used by a recipient towards the required nonfederal cost share under an MEP award. Any cost sharing must be in accordance with the ‘‘cost sharing or matching’’ provisions of 15 CFR part 14, Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Cooperative Agreements With Institutions of Higher Education, Hospitals, Other Non-Profit, and VerDate Mar<15>2010 22:09 Jul 31, 2014 Jkt 232001 Commercial Organizations or 15 CFR part 24, Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Cooperative Agreements to State and Local Governments, as applicable. As with the Federal share, any proposed costs included as non-Federal cost sharing must be an allowable/ eligible cost under this program and the following applicable Federal cost principles: (1) Institutions of Higher Education: 2 CFR part 220 (OMB Circular A–21); (2) Nonprofit Organizations: 2 CFR part 230 (OMB Circular A–122); and (3) State, Local and Indian Tribal Governments: 2 CFR part 225 (OMB Circular A–87). Any proposed non-Federal cost sharing will be made a part of the cooperative agreement award and will be subject to audit if the project receives MEP funding. Eligibility: The eligibility requirements given in this section will be used in lieu of those given in the MEP regulations found at 15 CFR part 290, specifically 15 CFR 290.5(a)(1). Each applicant for and recipient of an MEP award must be a U.S.-based nonprofit institution or organization. For the purpose of this notice and the corresponding FFO, nonprofit institutions include Section 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations, non-profit and State universities, non-profit community and technical colleges, and State, local or Tribal governments. Existing MEP awardees and new applicants who meet the eligibility criteria set forth in this section may apply. An eligible organization may work individually or may include proposed subawards to eligible PO 00000 Frm 00011 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 1/2 2/5 1/3 Minimum non-federal share 1/2 3/5 2/3 organizations or proposed contracts with any other organization as part of applicant’s proposal, effectively forming a team. However, as discussed in Section III.3.b. of the corresponding FFO, NIST generally will not fund applications that propose an organizational or operational structure that, in whole or in part, delegates or transfers to another person, institution, or organization the applicant’s responsibility for core MEP Center management and oversight functions. Application Requirements: Applications must be submitted in accordance with the requirements set forth in the corresponding FFO announcement. Application/Review Information: The evaluation criteria, selection factors, and review and selection process provided in this section will be used for this competition in lieu of those provided in the MEP regulations found at 15 CFR part 290, specifically 15 CFR 290.6 and 290.7. Evaluation Criteria: The evaluation criteria that will be used in evaluating applications and assigned weights, with a maximum score of 100, are listed below. a. Executive Summary and Project Narrative. (40 points). NIST/MEP will evaluate the extent to which the applicant’s Executive Summary and Project Narrative demonstrate how the applicant will efficiently and effectively establish an MEP Center and provide manufacturing extension services to primarily small and medium-sized manufacturers in the applicable Statewide geographical service area identified in Section II.2. of the E:\FR\FM\01AUN1.SGM 01AUN1 tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 148 / Friday, August 1, 2014 / Notices corresponding FFO. Reviewers will consider the following topics when evaluating the Executive Summary and Project Narrative: i. Market Understanding (10 points). Reviewers will assess the strategy proposed for the Center to define the target market, understand the needs of manufacturers, with an emphasis on the small and medium-sized manufacturers, and to deliver appropriate services to meet identified needs. The following sub-topics will be evaluated and given equal weight: (1) Market Segmentation. Reviewers will assess the extent to which the applicant understands the market of potential customers and the varying needs of different market segments. In addition to the core MEP segment of established small and medium-sized manufacturers with 25–250 employees, reviewers will assess the applicant’s understanding as described in the proposal of non-traditional MEP customers such as rural, emerging, very small, or underserved manufacturers. Reviewers will evaluate the extent to which applicants: • Delineate target service regions and manufacturers; • make use of appropriate quantitative and qualitative data sources and market intelligence to support proposed strategies and approaches to defining and segmenting the market; and • align priority industries and regions with other State and regional priorities and investments. (2) Needs Identification and Service Offerings. Reviewers will assess the extent to which the applicant addresses the capabilities to provide services for both top line growth and bottom line improvement through: • serving the State’s manufacturing base, industry types, and technology requirements; • leveraging new manufacturing technology, techniques, and processes usable by small and medium-sized manufacturers; • meeting existing and emerging needs of State manufacturers; • making use of multiple sources of qualitative and quantitative information to determine manufacturers’ needs and how best to address them; • making use of resources, tools and services appropriate for the targeted small and medium-sized manufacturers to meet identified needs of the State; • incorporating a range of complementary service providers and partners to deliver broad expertise and maximum value to manufacturing clients; and VerDate Mar<15>2010 22:09 Jul 31, 2014 Jkt 232001 • describing plans to provide services to very small, rural, emergent, or underserved small and medium-sized manufacturers. ii. Center Strategy (10 points). Reviewers will assess the applicant’s strategy proposed for the Center to deliver services that meet manufacturers’ needs and generate impact. Reviewers will assess the extent to which the applicant: • Incorporates the market analysis described in criterion a.i.(1) above to inform strategies, products and services; • defines a strategy for delivering services that balances market penetration with impact and revenue generation, addressing the needs of manufacturers, with an emphasis on the small and medium-sized manufacturers; • defines the State ecosystem in which the Center will operate, including universities, community colleges, technology-based economic developers, and others; and • supports achievements of the MEP mission and objectives while also satisfying the interests of other stakeholders, investors, and partners. iii. Business Model (20 points). Reviewers will assess the applicant’s proposed business model for the Center and its ability to execute the strategy proposed in criterion a.ii. above, based on the market understanding described in criterion a.i. above. The following sub-topics will be evaluated and given equal weight: (1) Approach to the Market. Reviewers will assess the extent to which the proposed Center: • Will reach State manufacturers; • optimizes the use of delivery methods (direct delivery, third party, account management); and • facilitates the engagement of manufacturers’ leadership in strategic discussions related to new technologies, new products, and new markets. (2) Products and Services. Reviewers will assess the extent to which the proposed Center will: • Engage expertise both from within the Center and from subrecipients, contractors and strategic partners to make available a wide range of experts and services to manufacturers; • deliver services to small and medium-sized manufacturers to encourage adoption of new technologies, development of new products, and sales of products in new markets; • balance delivering process improvement services with services that will transform and grow manufacturers; • deliver manufacturing technology and mechanisms for accelerating the adoption of technologies for both PO 00000 Frm 00012 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 44749 process improvement and new product adoption to small and medium-sized manufacturers; and • support a job-driven training agenda with manufacturing clients, including: (a) Working with manufacturers to determine local or regional hiring needs; (b) coordinating with workforce partners and others to leverage training resources; (c) using data to inform program offerings; (d) promoting on-the-job training through clients and partners; (e) promoting a continuum of education and training leading to credential attainment and career advancement; and (f) measuring employment outcomes and taking action to improve. (3) Partnership Leverage and Linkages. Reviewers will assess the extent to which the proposed Center will: • Establish a sustainable business model, incorporating federal, state and local investment, small and mediumsized manufacturing clients, and other sources; and • make use of effective resources or partnerships with third parties such as industry, universities, nonprofit economic development organizations, and State Governments likely to amplify the Center’s capabilities for delivering growth services. (4) Performance Measurement and Metrics. Reviewers will assess the extent to which the applicant’s proposed approach would utilize a systematic approach to measuring performance that includes: • client-based business results of importance to key stakeholder groups; and • operational performance results sufficient for day-to-day management of the Center. b. Qualifications of the Applicant and Program Management (30 points; Subcriterion i and ii will be weighted equally). Reviewers will assess the ability of the key personnel and the applicant’s management structure to deliver the program and services envisioned for the Center. Reviewers will consider the following topics when evaluating the qualifications of the applicant and of program management: i. Key Personnel and Organizational Structure. Reviewers will assess the extent to which the: • Proposed key personnel have the appropriate experience and education in manufacturing, outreach and partnership development to support achievements of the MEP mission and objectives; • proposed key personnel have the appropriate experience and education to plan, direct, monitor, organize and E:\FR\FM\01AUN1.SGM 01AUN1 tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 44750 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 148 / Friday, August 1, 2014 / Notices control the monetary resources of the proposed Center to achieve its business objectives and maximize its value; • proposed management structure (leadership and governance) is aligned to support the execution of the strategy, products and services; • proposed staffing plan flows logically from the specified approach to the market and products and service offerings; • organizational roles and responsibilities of key personnel and staff are clearly delineated; • proposed field staff structure sufficiently supports the geographic concentrations and industry targets for the region; and • degree to which the Center’s proposed oversight board meets the requirements of Section III.3.c. of the corresponding FFO or, if such a structure is not currently in place or is not expected to continue to meet these requirements at the time of the MEP award, a feasible plan is proposed for developing such an oversight board within 12 months of issuance of an MEP award (expected to be July 2015). ii. Program Management. Reviewers will assess the extent to which the/an: • Proposed methodology of program management and internal evaluation is likely to ensure effective operations and oversight and meet program and service delivery objectives; • proposed performance measurements and metrics are aligned to support the execution of the proposed Center’s strategy and business model; • proposed approach aligns effectively with the proposed key personnel, staff and organizational structure; and • applicant with past performance deficiencies under the MEP Program (as applicable) identifies the reasons for such performance deficiencies and provides a detailed course of action for ensuring better performance under a new MEP award, or the extent to which an applicant without performance deficiencies under an MEP award (as applicable) describes why such performance would continue under a new MEP award. Applicants without past performance under the MEP Program will not be penalized and will still be eligible to receive the maximum amount of points under this subcriterion. (Specifically, for applicants with past performance under the MEP Program, each bulleted evaluation factor in this sub-criterion will be worth a maximum of 3.75 points (15 maximum points in total). For applicants without past performance under an MEP Program, each bulleted evaluation factor in this sub-criterion will be worth a VerDate Mar<15>2010 22:09 Jul 31, 2014 Jkt 232001 maximum of 5 points (15 maximum points in total)). c. Budget Narrative and Financial Plan. (30 points; Sub-criterion i and ii will be weighted equally). Reviewers will assess the suitability and focus of the applicant’s five (5) year budget. The application will be assessed in the following areas: i. Plans for Meeting the Award’s NonFederal Cost Share Requirements. Reviewers will assess the extent to which the: • Applicant’s funding commitments for cost share are identified and supported and demonstrate allowability, stability, and duration; and • applicant clearly describes the total level of cost share and detailed rationale of the cost share, including cash and inkind, within the proposed budget. ii. Financial Viability. Reviewers will assess the extent to which: • A reasonable ramp-up or scale-up scope and budget that has the Center fully operational by the 4th year of the project; • the proposed projections for income and expenditures are allowable and appropriate for the scale of services that are to be delivered by the proposed Center and the service delivery model envisioned; • the proposal’s narrative for each of the budgeted items explains the rationale for each of the budgeted items, including assumptions the applicant used in budgeting for the Center; • the overall proposed financial plan is sufficiently robust and diversified so as to support the long term sustainability of the Center; and • the proposed financial plan is aligned to support the execution of the proposed Center’s strategy and business model. Selection Factors: The Selection Factors for this notice and the corresponding FFO are as follows: a. The availability of Federal funds; b. Relevance of the proposed project to MEP program goals and policy objectives; c. Reviewers’ evaluations, including technical comments; d. The need to assure appropriate distribution within the designated State; and/or e. Whether the project duplicates other projects funded by DoC or by other Federal agencies. Review and Selection Process: (1) Initial Administrative Review of Applications. An initial review of timely received applications will be conducted to determine eligibility, completeness, and responsiveness to this notice and the corresponding FFO and the scope of the stated program PO 00000 Frm 00013 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 objectives. Applications determined to be ineligible, incomplete, and/or nonresponsive may be eliminated from further review. However, NIST, in its sole discretion, may continue the review process for an application that is missing non-substantive information that can easily be rectified or cured. (2) Full Review of Eligible, Complete, and Responsive Applications. Applications that are determined to be eligible, complete, and responsive will proceed for full reviews in accordance with the review and selection processes below. Eligible, complete and responsive applications will be grouped by the State in which the proposed MEP Center is to be established. The applications in each group will be reviewed by the same reviewers and will be evaluated, reviewed and selected as described below in separate groups. (a) Evaluation and Review. Each application will be reviewed by at least three technically qualified reviewers who will evaluate each application based on the evaluation criteria set forth above and in Section V.1. of the corresponding FFO. Applicants may receive written follow-up questions in order for the reviewers to gain a better understanding of the applicant’s proposal. Each reviewer will assign each application a numeric score, with a maximum score of 100. If a non-Federal employee reviewer is used, the reviewers may discuss the applications with each other, but scores will be determined on an individual basis, not as a consensus. Applicants whose applications receive an average score of 70 or higher out of 100 will be deemed finalists. If deemed necessary, all finalists will be invited to participate with reviewers in a conference call and/or all finalists will be invited to participate in a site visit that will be conducted by the same reviewers at the applicant’s location. Finalists will be reviewed and evaluated, and reviewers may revise their assigned numeric scores based on the evaluation criteria set forth above and in Section V.1. of the corresponding FFO as a result of the conference call and/or site visit. (b) Ranking and Selection. The reviewers’ final numeric scores for all finalists will be converted to ordinal rankings (i.e., a reviewer’s highest score will be ranked ‘‘1’’, second highest score will be ranked ‘‘2’’, etc.). The ordinal rankings for an applicant will be summed and rank order will be established based on the lowest total for the ordinal rankings, and provided to the Selecting Official for further consideration. E:\FR\FM\01AUN1.SGM 01AUN1 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 148 / Friday, August 1, 2014 / Notices tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES The Selecting Official is the NIST Associate Director of Innovation and Industry Services or his designee. The Selecting Official makes the final recommendation to the NIST Grants Officer regarding the funding of applications under this notice and the corresponding FFO. NIST/MEP expects to recommend funding for the highest ranked applicant for each of the ten (10) States being competed under this notice and the corresponding FFO. However, the Selecting Official may decide to select an applicant out of rank order based upon one or more of the Selection Factors identified above and in Section V.3. of the corresponding FFO. The Selecting Official may also decide not to recommend funding for a particular State to any of the applicants. NIST reserves the right to negotiate the budget costs with any applicant selected to receive an award, which may include requesting that the applicant remove certain costs. Additionally, NIST may request that the successful applicant modify objectives or work plans and provide supplemental information required by the agency prior to award. NIST also reserves the right to reject an application where information is uncovered that raises a reasonable doubt as to the responsibility of the applicant. The final approval of selected applications and issuance of awards will be by the NIST Grants Officer. The award decisions of the NIST Grants Officer are final. Anticipated Announcement and Award Date. Review, selection, and award processing is expected to be completed in January 2015. The anticipated start date for awards made under this notice and the corresponding FFO is expected to be July 2015. Additional Information a. Application Replacement Pages. Applicants may not submit replacement pages and/or missing documents once an application has been submitted. Any revisions must be made by submission of a new application that must be received by NIST by the submission deadline. b. Notification to Unsuccessful Applicants. Unsuccessful applicants will be notified in writing. c. Retention of Unsuccessful Applications. An electronic copy of each non-selected application will be retained for three (3) years for record keeping purposes. After three (3) years, it will be destroyed. Administrative and National Policy Requirements The Department of Commerce PreAward Notification Requirements: The VerDate Mar<15>2010 22:09 Jul 31, 2014 Jkt 232001 DoC Pre-Award Notification Requirements for Grants and Cooperative Agreements, which are contained in the Federal Register notice of December 17, 2012 (77 FR 74634), are applicable to this notice and the corresponding FFO and are available at https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/ 2012/12/17/2012-30228/department-ofcommerce-pre-award-notificationrequirements-for-grants-andcooperative-agreements. Employer/Taxpayer Identification Number (EIN/TIN), Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS), and System for Award Management (SAM): All applicants for Federal financial assistance are required to obtain a universal identifier in the form of DUNS number and maintain a current registration in the Federal government’s primary registrant database, SAM. On the form SF–424 items 8.b. and 8.c., the applicant’s 9digit EIN/TIN and 9-digit DUNS number must be consistent with the information in SAM (https://www.sam.gov/) and the Automated Standard Application for Payment System (ASAP). For complex organizations with multiple EINs/TINs and DUNS numbers, the EIN/TIN and DUNS numbers 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 application is selected for funding. Confirm that the EIN/TIN and DUNS number are consistent with the information on the SAM and ASAP. Please note that a federal assistance award cannot be issued if the designated recipient’s registration in the System for Award Management (SAM.gov) is not current at the time of the award. Per 2 CFR part 25, each applicant must: 1. Be registered in the Central Contractor Registration (CCR) before submitting an application, noting the CCR now resides in SAM; 2. Maintain an active CCR registration, noting the CCR now resides in SAM, with current information at all times during which it has an active Federal award or an application under consideration by an agency; and 3. Provide its DUNS number in each application it submits to the agency. The applicant can obtain a DUNS number from Dun and Bradstreet. A DUNS number can be created within one business day. The CCR or SAM registration process may take five or more business days to complete. If you are currently registered with the CCR, you may not need to make any changes. However, please make certain that the PO 00000 Frm 00014 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 44751 EIN/TIN associated with your DUNS number is correct. Also note that you will need to update your CCR registration annually. This may take three or more business days to complete. Information about SAM is available at www.sam.gov. See also 2 CFR part 25 and the Federal Register notice published on September 14, 2010, at 75 FR 55671. 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. DoC Representation by Corporations Regarding an Unpaid Delinquent Tax Liability or a Felony Conviction Under Any Federal Law. In accordance with the Federal appropriations law expected to be in effect at the time of project funding, NIST anticipates that the selected applicants will be provided a form and asked to make a representation regarding any unpaid delinquent tax liability or felony conviction under any Federal law. Funding Availability and Limitation of Liability: Funding for the program listed in this notice and the corresponding FFO is contingent upon the availability of appropriations. In no event will NIST or DoC be responsible for application preparation costs if this program fails to receive funding or is cancelled because of agency priorities. Publication of this notice and the corresponding FFO does not oblige NIST or DoC to award any specific project or to obligate any available funds. Other Administrative and National Policy Requirements: Additional administrative and national policy requirements are set forth in Section VI.2. of the corresponding FFO. 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 E:\FR\FM\01AUN1.SGM 01AUN1 44752 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 148 / Friday, August 1, 2014 / Notices federalism implications as that term is defined in Executive Order 13132. Executive Order 12372: Proposals 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 matters relating to public property, loans, grants, benefits or contracts (5 U.S.C. 553(a)). Moreover, because notice and comment are not required under 5 U.S.C. 553, or any other law, for matters 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: July 28, 2014. Jason Boehm, Director, Program Coordination Office. [FR Doc. 2014–18264 Filed 7–31–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–13–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Institute of Standards and Technology Judges Panel of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award National Institute of Standards and Technology, Department of Commerce. ACTION: Notice of closed meeting. AGENCY: The Judges Panel of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award (Judges Panel) will meet in closed session on Wednesday, August 27, 2014, from 9:00 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. Eastern Time. The purpose of this meeting is to review the results of examiners’ scoring of written applications. Panel members will vote on which applicants merit site visits by examiners to verify the accuracy of quality improvements claimed by applicants. The meeting is closed to the public in order to protect the proprietary data to be examined and discussed at the meeting. DATES: The meeting will be held on Wednesday, August 27, 2014, from 9:00 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. Eastern Time. The entire meeting will be closed to the public. ADDRESSES: The meeting will be held at the Gaithersburg Marriott Washingtonian Center, 9751 Washingtonian Blvd., Gaithersburg, MD 20878. tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 22:09 Jul 31, 2014 Jkt 232001 FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Robert Fangmeyer, Director, Baldrige Performance Excellence Program, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20899, telephone number (301) 975– 4781, email robert.fangmeyer@nist.gov. Authority: 15 U.S.C. 3711a(d)(1) and the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, 5 U.S.C. App. Pursuant to the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, 5 U.S.C. App., notice is hereby given that the Judges Panel of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award will meet on Wednesday, August 27, 2014, from 9:00 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. Eastern Time. The Judges Panel is composed of twelve members, appointed by the Secretary of Commerce, chosen for their familiarity with quality improvement operations and competitiveness issues of manufacturing companies, services companies, small businesses, health care providers, and educational institutions. Members are also chosen who have broad experience in for-profit and nonprofit areas. The purpose of this meeting is to review the results of examiners’ scoring of written applications. Panel members will vote on which applicants merit site visits by examiners to verify the accuracy of quality improvements claimed by applicants. The meeting is closed to the public in order to protect the proprietary data to be examined and discussed at the meeting. The Chief Financial Officer and Assistant Secretary for Administration, with the concurrence of the Assistant General Counsel for Administration, formally determined on March 25, 2014, pursuant to Section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended by Section 5(c) of the Government in Sunshine Act, Public Law 94–409, that the meeting of the Judges Panel may be closed to the public in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552b(c)(4) because the meeting is likely to disclose trade secrets and commercial or financial information obtained from a person which is privileged or confidential and 5 U.S.C. 552b(c)(9)(b [sic]) because for a government agency the meeting is likely to disclose information that could significantly frustrate implementation of a proposed agency action. The meeting, which involves examination of current Award applicant data from U.S. organizations and a discussion of these data as compared to the Award criteria in order to recommend Award recipients, will be closed to the public. Frm 00015 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 [FR Doc. 2014–18255 Filed 7–31–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–13–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: PO 00000 Dated: July 28, 2014. Jason Boehm, Director, Program Coordination Office. National Institute of Standards and Technology Advisory Committee on Earthquake Hazards Reduction Meeting National Institute of Standards and Technology, Department of Commerce. ACTION: Notice of open meeting. AGENCY: The Advisory Committee on Earthquake Hazards Reduction (ACEHR or Committee), will meet Monday, August 18, 2014 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Mountain Time and Tuesday, August 19, 2014, from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Mountain Time. The primary purpose of this meeting is to discuss priorities of the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP) for optimal NEHRP agency interactions with researchers and practitioners in other natural and man-made hazards disciplines and in the broader resilience environment, to review the NEHRP agency updates on their latest activities, and to gather information for the Committee’s 2015 Report on the Effectiveness of the NEHRP. The agenda may change to accommodate Committee business. The final agenda will be posted on the NEHRP Web site at http://nehrp.gov/. DATES: The ACEHR will meet on Monday, August 18, 2014, from 8:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Mountain Time. The meeting will continue on Tuesday, August 19, 2014, from 8:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. Mountain Time. The meeting will be open to the public. ADDRESSES: The meeting will be held in the entry-level conference room 204 at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), 1711 Illinois Street, Golden, Colorado 80401. Please note admittance instructions under the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this notice. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dr. Jack Hayes, National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program Director, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), 100 Bureau Drive, Mail Stop 8604, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20899–8604. Dr. Hayes’ email address is jack.hayes@nist.gov and his phone number is (301) 975–5640. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Committee was established in accordance with the requirements of SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\01AUN1.SGM 01AUN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 148 (Friday, August 1, 2014)]
[Notices]
[Pages 44746-44752]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-18264]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Institute of Standards and Technology

[Docket Number 140723615-4615-01]
RIN 0693-ZB08


Award Competitions for Hollings Manufacturing Extension 
Partnership (MEP) Centers in the States of Colorado, Connecticut, 
Indiana, Michigan, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Oregon, Tennessee, 
Texas and Virginia

AGENCY: National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), United 
States Department of Commerce (DoC).

ACTION: Notice of funding availability.

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

SUMMARY: NIST invites applications from eligible applicants in 
connection with NIST's funding of up to ten (10) separate MEP 
cooperative agreements for the operation of an MEP Center in the 
designated States' service areas and in the funding amounts identified 
in Section II.2. of the corresponding Announcement of Federal Funding 
Opportunity (FFO). NIST anticipates awarding one (1) cooperative 
agreement for each of the identified States. The objective of the MEP 
Center Program is to provide manufacturing extension services to 
primarily small and medium-sized manufacturers within the State 
designated in the applications. The selected MEP Centers will become 
part of the MEP national system of extension service providers, 
currently comprised of more than 400 Centers and field offices located 
throughout the United States and Puerto Rico.

DATES: Electronic applications must be received no later than 11:59 
p.m. Eastern Time on October 15, 2014. Applications received after the 
deadline will not be reviewed or considered. The approximate start date 
for awards under this notice and the corresponding FFO is expected to 
be July 1, 2015.

ADDRESSES: Applications must be submitted electronically through 
www.Grants.gov. NIST will not accept applications submitted by mail, 
facsimile, or by email. See Section IV. in the Full Announcement Text 
of the corresponding FFO.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Administrative, budget, cost-sharing, 
and eligibility questions and other programmatic questions should be 
directed to Diane Henderson at Tel: (301) 975-5105; Email: 
diane.henderson@nist.gov; Fax: (301) 963-6556. Grants Administration 
questions should be addressed to: Jannet Cancino, Grants and Agreements 
Management Division, National Institute of Standards and Technology, 
100 Bureau Drive, Stop 1650, Gaithersburg, MD 20899-1650; Tel: (301) 
975-6544; Email: jannet.cancino@nist.gov; Fax: (301) 926-6319. For 
assistance with using Grants.gov contact Christopher Hunton at Tel: 
(301) 975-5718; Email: christopher.hunton@nist.gov; Fax: (301) 975-
8884. Questions submitted to NIST/MEP may be posted as part of an FAQ 
document, which will be periodically updated on the MEP Web site at 
http://www.nist.gov/mep/ffo_state-competitions.cfm.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 
    Electronic access: Applicants are strongly encouraged to read the 
corresponding Federal Funding Opportunity (FFO) announcement available 
at www.grants.gov for complete information about this program, 
including all program requirements and instructions for applying 
electronically. Paper applications or electronic applications submitted 
other than through www.grants.gov will not be accepted. The FFO may be 
found by searching under the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance 
Name and Number provided below.

    Authority: 15 U.S.C. 278k, as implemented in 15 CFR part 290.
    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Name and Number: 
Manufacturing Extension Partnership--11.611.
    Webinar Information Session: NIST/MEP will hold an information 
session for organizations that are considering applying for this 
funding opportunity. This webinar will provide general information 
regarding MEP and offer general guidance on preparing proposals. NIST/
MEP staff will be available at the webinar to answer general questions. 
During the webinar, proprietary technical discussions about specific 
project ideas will not be permitted. Also, NIST/MEP staff will not 
critique or provide feedback on any project ideas during the webinar or 
at any time before submission of a proposal to MEP. However, NIST/MEP 
staff will provide information about the MEP eligibility and cost-
sharing

[[Page 44747]]

requirements, evaluation criteria and selection factors, selection 
process, and the general characteristics of a competitive MEP proposal 
during this webinar. The webinar will be held approximately fourteen 
(14) business days after posting of the FFO and publication of this 
notice. The exact date and time of the webinar will be posted on the 
MEP Web site at http://www.nist.gov/mep/ffo_state-competitions.cfm. 
The webinar will be recorded, and a link to the recording will be 
posted on the MEP Web site. In addition, the webinar presentation will 
be available after the webinar on the MEP Web site. Organizations 
wishing to participate in the webinar must register in advance by 
contacting MEP by email at mepffo@nist.gov. Participation in the 
webinar is not required in order for an organization to submit an 
application pursuant to this notice and the corresponding FFO.
    Program Description: NIST invites applications from eligible 
applicants in connection with NIST's funding up to ten (10) separate 
MEP cooperative agreements for the operation of an MEP Center in the 
designated State service areas and in the funding amounts identified in 
Section II.2. of the corresponding FFO. NIST anticipates awarding one 
(1) cooperative agreement for each of the identified States. The 
objective of the MEP Center Program is to provide manufacturing 
extension services to primarily small and medium-sized manufacturers 
within the State designated in the applications. The selected MEP 
Centers will become part of the MEP national system of extension 
service providers, currently comprised of more than 400 Centers and 
field offices located throughout the United States and Puerto Rico.
    See the corresponding FFO for further information about the 
Manufacturing Extension Partnership and the MEP National Network.
    The MEP Program is not a Federal research and development program. 
It is not the intent of this program that awardees will perform 
systematic research.
    To learn more about the MEP Program, please go to http://www.nist.gov/mep/.
    Funding Availability: NIST anticipates funding ten (10) MEP Center 
awards with an initial five-year period of performance in accordance 
with the multi-year funding policy described in Section II.3. of the 
corresponding FFO. Initial funding for the projects listed in this 
notice and the corresponding FFO is contingent upon the availability of 
appropriated funds.
    Below are the ten (10) States identified for funding as part of 
this notice and the corresponding FFO:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                          Annual federal   Total federal
    MEP center location and assigned        funding for    funding for 5
  geographical service area (by state)     each year of     year award
                                             the award        period
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Colorado................................      $1,668,359      $8,341,795
Connecticut.............................       1,476,247       7,381,235
Indiana.................................       2,758,688      13,793,440
Michigan................................       4,229,175      21,145,875
New Hampshire...........................         628,176       3,140,880
North Carolina..........................       3,036,183      15,180,915
Oregon..................................       1,792,029       8,960,145
Tennessee...............................       1,976,348       9,881,740
Texas...................................       6,700,881      33,504,405
Virginia................................       1,722,571       8,612,855
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Multi-Year Funding Policy. When an application for a multi-year 
award is approved, funding will usually be provided for only the first 
year of the project. Recipients will be required to submit detailed 
budgets and budget narratives prior to the award of any continued 
funding. Continued funding for the remaining years of the project will 
be awarded by NIST on a non-competitive basis, and may be adjusted 
higher or lower from year-to-year of the award, contingent upon 
satisfactory performance, continued relevance to the mission and 
priorities of the program, and the availability of funds. Continuation 
of an award to extend the period of performance and/or to increase or 
decrease funding is at the sole discretion of NIST.
    Potential for Additional 5 Years. Initial awards issued pursuant to 
this notice and the corresponding FFO are expected to be for up to five 
(5) years with the possibility for NIST to renew for an additional 5 
years at the end of the initial award period. The review processes in 
15 CFR 290.8 will be used as part of the overall assessment of the 
recipient, consistent with the potential long-term nature and purpose 
of the program. In considering renewal for a second five-year, multi-
year award term, NIST will evaluate the results of the annual reviews 
and the results of the 3rd Year peer-based Panel Review findings and 
recommendations as set forth in 15 CFR 290.8, as well as the Center's 
progress in addressing findings and recommendations made during the 
various reviews. The full process is expected to include programmatic, 
policy, financial, administrative, and responsibility assessments, and 
the availability of funds, consistent with Department of Commerce and 
NIST policies and procedures in effect at that time.

Kick-Off Conferences

    Each recipient will be required to attend a kick-off conference, 
which will be held at NIST at the beginning of the project period, to 
help ensure that the MEP Center operator has a clear understanding of 
the program and its components. The kick-off conference will take place 
at NIST/MEP headquarters in Gaithersburg, MD, during which time NIST 
will: (1) Orient MEP Center key personnel to the MEP program; (2) 
explain program and financial reporting requirements and procedures; 
(3) identify available resources that can enhance the capabilities of 
the MEP Center; and (4) develop a detailed five-year operating plan. 
NIST/MEP anticipates an additional set of site visits at the MEP Center 
and/or telephonic meetings with the recipient to finalize the five-year 
operating plan.
    The kick-off conference will take up to approximately 5 days and 
must be attended by the MEP Center Director, along with up to two 
additional MEP Center employees. Applicants must include travel and 
related costs for the kick-off conference as part of the budget for 
year one (1), and these costs should be reflected in the SF-424A 
covering the first four (4) years of the project. (See Section 
IV.2.a.(2). of the corresponding FFO.) These costs must

[[Page 44748]]

also be reflected in the budget table and budget narrative for year 1, 
which is submitted as part of the budget tables and budget narratives 
section of the Technical Proposal. (See Section IV.2.a.(6).(d). of the 
corresponding FFO.)

MEP System-Wide Meetings

    NIST/MEP typically organizes system-wide meetings four times a year 
(generally on a quarterly basis) in an effort to share best practices, 
new and emerging trends, and additional topics of interest. These 
meetings take place at NIST/MEP headquarters in Gaithersburg, MD and 
typically involve 3-4 days of resource time and associated travel 
costs. The MEP Center Director must attend these meetings, along with 
up to two additional MEP Center employees.
    Applicants must include travel and related costs for four quarterly 
MEP system-wide meetings in each of the five (5) project years (4 
meetings per year; 20 total meetings over five-year award period). 
These costs must be reflected in the SF-424A covering the first four 
(4) years of the project (See Section IV.2.a.(2). of the corresponding 
FFO) and in the SF-424A covering year five (5) of the project (See 
Section IV.2.a.(10). of the corresponding FFO). These costs must also 
be reflected in the budget tables and budget narratives for each of the 
project's five (5) years, which are submitted in the budget tables and 
budget narratives section of the Technical Proposal. (See Section 
IV.2.a.(6).(d). of the corresponding FFO).
    Cost Share or Matching Requirement: Non-Federal cost sharing of at 
least 50 percent of the total project costs is required for each of the 
first through the third year of the award, with an increasing minimum 
non-federal cost share contribution beginning in year 4 of the award as 
follows:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                           Maximum NIST    Minimum non-
               Award year                      share       federal share
------------------------------------------------------------------------
1-3.....................................             1/2             1/2
4.......................................             2/5             3/5
5 and beyond............................             1/3             2/3
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Non-Federal cost sharing is that portion of the project costs not 
borne by the Federal Government. The applicant's share of the MEP 
Center expenses may include cash, services, and third party in-kind 
contributions, as described at 15 CFR 14.23 or 24.24, as applicable, 
and in the MEP program regulations at 15 CFR 290.4(c). No more than 50% 
of the applicant's total non-Federal cost share for any year of the 
award may be from third party in-kind contributions of part-time 
personnel, equipment, software, rental value of centrally located 
space, and related contributions, per 15 CFR 290.4(c)(5). The source 
and detailed rationale of the cost share, including cash, full- and 
part-time personnel, and in-kind donations, must be documented in the 
budget tables and budget narratives submitted with the application and 
will be considered as part of the review under the evaluation criterion 
found in Section V.1.c.i. of the corresponding FFO.
    Recipients must meet the minimum non-federal cost share 
requirements for each year of the award as identified in the chart 
above. For purposes of the MEP Program, ``program income'' (as defined 
in 15 CFR 14.2(aa) and in 15 CFR 24.25(b), as applicable) generated by 
an MEP Center may be used by a recipient towards the required non-
federal cost share under an MEP award.
    Any cost sharing must be in accordance with the ``cost sharing or 
matching'' provisions of 15 CFR part 14, Uniform Administrative 
Requirements for Grants and Cooperative Agreements With Institutions of 
Higher Education, Hospitals, Other Non-Profit, and Commercial 
Organizations or 15 CFR part 24, Uniform Administrative Requirements 
for Grants and Cooperative Agreements to State and Local Governments, 
as applicable.
    As with the Federal share, any proposed costs included as non-
Federal cost sharing must be an allowable/eligible cost under this 
program and the following applicable Federal cost principles: (1) 
Institutions of Higher Education: 2 CFR part 220 (OMB Circular A-21); 
(2) Nonprofit Organizations: 2 CFR part 230 (OMB Circular A-122); and 
(3) State, Local and Indian Tribal Governments: 2 CFR part 225 (OMB 
Circular A-87). Any proposed non-Federal cost sharing will be made a 
part of the cooperative agreement award and will be subject to audit if 
the project receives MEP funding.
    Eligibility: The eligibility requirements given in this section 
will be used in lieu of those given in the MEP regulations found at 15 
CFR part 290, specifically 15 CFR 290.5(a)(1). Each applicant for and 
recipient of an MEP award must be a U.S.-based nonprofit institution or 
organization. For the purpose of this notice and the corresponding FFO, 
nonprofit institutions include Section 501(c)(3) non-profit 
organizations, non-profit and State universities, non-profit community 
and technical colleges, and State, local or Tribal governments. 
Existing MEP awardees and new applicants who meet the eligibility 
criteria set forth in this section may apply. An eligible organization 
may work individually or may include proposed subawards to eligible 
organizations or proposed contracts with any other organization as part 
of applicant's proposal, effectively forming a team. However, as 
discussed in Section III.3.b. of the corresponding FFO, NIST generally 
will not fund applications that propose an organizational or 
operational structure that, in whole or in part, delegates or transfers 
to another person, institution, or organization the applicant's 
responsibility for core MEP Center management and oversight functions.
    Application Requirements: Applications must be submitted in 
accordance with the requirements set forth in the corresponding FFO 
announcement.
    Application/Review Information: The evaluation criteria, selection 
factors, and review and selection process provided in this section will 
be used for this competition in lieu of those provided in the MEP 
regulations found at 15 CFR part 290, specifically 15 CFR 290.6 and 
290.7.
    Evaluation Criteria: The evaluation criteria that will be used in 
evaluating applications and assigned weights, with a maximum score of 
100, are listed below.
    a. Executive Summary and Project Narrative. (40 points). NIST/MEP 
will evaluate the extent to which the applicant's Executive Summary and 
Project Narrative demonstrate how the applicant will efficiently and 
effectively establish an MEP Center and provide manufacturing extension 
services to primarily small and medium-sized manufacturers in the 
applicable State-wide geographical service area identified in Section 
II.2. of the

[[Page 44749]]

corresponding FFO. Reviewers will consider the following topics when 
evaluating the Executive Summary and Project Narrative:
    i. Market Understanding (10 points). Reviewers will assess the 
strategy proposed for the Center to define the target market, 
understand the needs of manufacturers, with an emphasis on the small 
and medium-sized manufacturers, and to deliver appropriate services to 
meet identified needs. The following sub-topics will be evaluated and 
given equal weight:
    (1) Market Segmentation. Reviewers will assess the extent to which 
the applicant understands the market of potential customers and the 
varying needs of different market segments. In addition to the core MEP 
segment of established small and medium-sized manufacturers with 25-250 
employees, reviewers will assess the applicant's understanding as 
described in the proposal of non-traditional MEP customers such as 
rural, emerging, very small, or underserved manufacturers. Reviewers 
will evaluate the extent to which applicants:
     Delineate target service regions and manufacturers;
     make use of appropriate quantitative and qualitative data 
sources and market intelligence to support proposed strategies and 
approaches to defining and segmenting the market; and
     align priority industries and regions with other State and 
regional priorities and investments.
    (2) Needs Identification and Service Offerings. Reviewers will 
assess the extent to which the applicant addresses the capabilities to 
provide services for both top line growth and bottom line improvement 
through:
     serving the State's manufacturing base, industry types, 
and technology requirements;
     leveraging new manufacturing technology, techniques, and 
processes usable by small and medium-sized manufacturers;
     meeting existing and emerging needs of State 
manufacturers;
     making use of multiple sources of qualitative and 
quantitative information to determine manufacturers' needs and how best 
to address them;
     making use of resources, tools and services appropriate 
for the targeted small and medium-sized manufacturers to meet 
identified needs of the State;
     incorporating a range of complementary service providers 
and partners to deliver broad expertise and maximum value to 
manufacturing clients; and
     describing plans to provide services to very small, rural, 
emergent, or underserved small and medium-sized manufacturers.
    ii. Center Strategy (10 points). Reviewers will assess the 
applicant's strategy proposed for the Center to deliver services that 
meet manufacturers' needs and generate impact. Reviewers will assess 
the extent to which the applicant:
     Incorporates the market analysis described in criterion 
a.i.(1) above to inform strategies, products and services;
     defines a strategy for delivering services that balances 
market penetration with impact and revenue generation, addressing the 
needs of manufacturers, with an emphasis on the small and medium-sized 
manufacturers;
     defines the State ecosystem in which the Center will 
operate, including universities, community colleges, technology-based 
economic developers, and others; and
     supports achievements of the MEP mission and objectives 
while also satisfying the interests of other stakeholders, investors, 
and partners.
    iii. Business Model (20 points). Reviewers will assess the 
applicant's proposed business model for the Center and its ability to 
execute the strategy proposed in criterion a.ii. above, based on the 
market understanding described in criterion a.i. above. The following 
sub-topics will be evaluated and given equal weight:
    (1) Approach to the Market. Reviewers will assess the extent to 
which the proposed Center:
     Will reach State manufacturers;
     optimizes the use of delivery methods (direct delivery, 
third party, account management); and
     facilitates the engagement of manufacturers' leadership in 
strategic discussions related to new technologies, new products, and 
new markets.
    (2) Products and Services. Reviewers will assess the extent to 
which the proposed Center will:
     Engage expertise both from within the Center and from 
subrecipients, contractors and strategic partners to make available a 
wide range of experts and services to manufacturers;
     deliver services to small and medium-sized manufacturers 
to encourage adoption of new technologies, development of new products, 
and sales of products in new markets;
     balance delivering process improvement services with 
services that will transform and grow manufacturers;
     deliver manufacturing technology and mechanisms for 
accelerating the adoption of technologies for both process improvement 
and new product adoption to small and medium-sized manufacturers; and
     support a job-driven training agenda with manufacturing 
clients, including: (a) Working with manufacturers to determine local 
or regional hiring needs; (b) coordinating with workforce partners and 
others to leverage training resources; (c) using data to inform program 
offerings; (d) promoting on-the-job training through clients and 
partners; (e) promoting a continuum of education and training leading 
to credential attainment and career advancement; and (f) measuring 
employment outcomes and taking action to improve.
    (3) Partnership Leverage and Linkages. Reviewers will assess the 
extent to which the proposed Center will:
     Establish a sustainable business model, incorporating 
federal, state and local investment, small and medium-sized 
manufacturing clients, and other sources; and
     make use of effective resources or partnerships with third 
parties such as industry, universities, nonprofit economic development 
organizations, and State Governments likely to amplify the Center's 
capabilities for delivering growth services.
    (4) Performance Measurement and Metrics. Reviewers will assess the 
extent to which the applicant's proposed approach would utilize a 
systematic approach to measuring performance that includes:
     client-based business results of importance to key 
stakeholder groups; and
     operational performance results sufficient for day-to-day 
management of the Center.
    b. Qualifications of the Applicant and Program Management (30 
points; Sub-criterion i and ii will be weighted equally). Reviewers 
will assess the ability of the key personnel and the applicant's 
management structure to deliver the program and services envisioned for 
the Center. Reviewers will consider the following topics when 
evaluating the qualifications of the applicant and of program 
management:
    i. Key Personnel and Organizational Structure. Reviewers will 
assess the extent to which the:
     Proposed key personnel have the appropriate experience and 
education in manufacturing, outreach and partnership development to 
support achievements of the MEP mission and objectives;
     proposed key personnel have the appropriate experience and 
education to plan, direct, monitor, organize and

[[Page 44750]]

control the monetary resources of the proposed Center to achieve its 
business objectives and maximize its value;
     proposed management structure (leadership and governance) 
is aligned to support the execution of the strategy, products and 
services;
     proposed staffing plan flows logically from the specified 
approach to the market and products and service offerings;
     organizational roles and responsibilities of key personnel 
and staff are clearly delineated;
     proposed field staff structure sufficiently supports the 
geographic concentrations and industry targets for the region; and
     degree to which the Center's proposed oversight board 
meets the requirements of Section III.3.c. of the corresponding FFO or, 
if such a structure is not currently in place or is not expected to 
continue to meet these requirements at the time of the MEP award, a 
feasible plan is proposed for developing such an oversight board within 
12 months of issuance of an MEP award (expected to be July 2015).
    ii. Program Management. Reviewers will assess the extent to which 
the/an:
     Proposed methodology of program management and internal 
evaluation is likely to ensure effective operations and oversight and 
meet program and service delivery objectives;
     proposed performance measurements and metrics are aligned 
to support the execution of the proposed Center's strategy and business 
model;
     proposed approach aligns effectively with the proposed key 
personnel, staff and organizational structure; and
     applicant with past performance deficiencies under the MEP 
Program (as applicable) identifies the reasons for such performance 
deficiencies and provides a detailed course of action for ensuring 
better performance under a new MEP award, or the extent to which an 
applicant without performance deficiencies under an MEP award (as 
applicable) describes why such performance would continue under a new 
MEP award. Applicants without past performance under the MEP Program 
will not be penalized and will still be eligible to receive the maximum 
amount of points under this sub-criterion. (Specifically, for 
applicants with past performance under the MEP Program, each bulleted 
evaluation factor in this sub-criterion will be worth a maximum of 3.75 
points (15 maximum points in total). For applicants without past 
performance under an MEP Program, each bulleted evaluation factor in 
this sub-criterion will be worth a maximum of 5 points (15 maximum 
points in total)).
    c. Budget Narrative and Financial Plan. (30 points; Sub-criterion i 
and ii will be weighted equally). Reviewers will assess the suitability 
and focus of the applicant's five (5) year budget. The application will 
be assessed in the following areas:
    i. Plans for Meeting the Award's Non-Federal Cost Share 
Requirements. Reviewers will assess the extent to which the:
     Applicant's funding commitments for cost share are 
identified and supported and demonstrate allowability, stability, and 
duration; and
     applicant clearly describes the total level of cost share 
and detailed rationale of the cost share, including cash and in-kind, 
within the proposed budget.
    ii. Financial Viability. Reviewers will assess the extent to which:
     A reasonable ramp-up or scale-up scope and budget that has 
the Center fully operational by the 4th year of the project;
     the proposed projections for income and expenditures are 
allowable and appropriate for the scale of services that are to be 
delivered by the proposed Center and the service delivery model 
envisioned;
     the proposal's narrative for each of the budgeted items 
explains the rationale for each of the budgeted items, including 
assumptions the applicant used in budgeting for the Center;
     the overall proposed financial plan is sufficiently robust 
and diversified so as to support the long term sustainability of the 
Center; and
     the proposed financial plan is aligned to support the 
execution of the proposed Center's strategy and business model.
    Selection Factors: The Selection Factors for this notice and the 
corresponding FFO are as follows:
    a. The availability of Federal funds;
    b. Relevance of the proposed project to MEP program goals and 
policy objectives;
    c. Reviewers' evaluations, including technical comments;
    d. The need to assure appropriate distribution within the 
designated State; and/or
    e. Whether the project duplicates other projects funded by DoC or 
by other Federal agencies.
    Review and Selection Process:
    (1) Initial Administrative Review of Applications. An initial 
review of timely received applications will be conducted to determine 
eligibility, completeness, and responsiveness to this notice and the 
corresponding FFO and the scope of the stated program objectives. 
Applications determined to be ineligible, incomplete, and/or non-
responsive may be eliminated from further review. However, NIST, in its 
sole discretion, may continue the review process for an application 
that is missing non-substantive information that can easily be 
rectified or cured.
    (2) Full Review of Eligible, Complete, and Responsive Applications. 
Applications that are determined to be eligible, complete, and 
responsive will proceed for full reviews in accordance with the review 
and selection processes below. Eligible, complete and responsive 
applications will be grouped by the State in which the proposed MEP 
Center is to be established. The applications in each group will be 
reviewed by the same reviewers and will be evaluated, reviewed and 
selected as described below in separate groups.
    (a) Evaluation and Review. Each application will be reviewed by at 
least three technically qualified reviewers who will evaluate each 
application based on the evaluation criteria set forth above and in 
Section V.1. of the corresponding FFO. Applicants may receive written 
follow-up questions in order for the reviewers to gain a better 
understanding of the applicant's proposal. Each reviewer will assign 
each application a numeric score, with a maximum score of 100. If a 
non-Federal employee reviewer is used, the reviewers may discuss the 
applications with each other, but scores will be determined on an 
individual basis, not as a consensus.
    Applicants whose applications receive an average score of 70 or 
higher out of 100 will be deemed finalists. If deemed necessary, all 
finalists will be invited to participate with reviewers in a conference 
call and/or all finalists will be invited to participate in a site 
visit that will be conducted by the same reviewers at the applicant's 
location. Finalists will be reviewed and evaluated, and reviewers may 
revise their assigned numeric scores based on the evaluation criteria 
set forth above and in Section V.1. of the corresponding FFO as a 
result of the conference call and/or site visit.
    (b) Ranking and Selection. The reviewers' final numeric scores for 
all finalists will be converted to ordinal rankings (i.e., a reviewer's 
highest score will be ranked ``1'', second highest score will be ranked 
``2'', etc.). The ordinal rankings for an applicant will be summed and 
rank order will be established based on the lowest total for the 
ordinal rankings, and provided to the Selecting Official for further 
consideration.

[[Page 44751]]

    The Selecting Official is the NIST Associate Director of Innovation 
and Industry Services or his designee. The Selecting Official makes the 
final recommendation to the NIST Grants Officer regarding the funding 
of applications under this notice and the corresponding FFO. NIST/MEP 
expects to recommend funding for the highest ranked applicant for each 
of the ten (10) States being competed under this notice and the 
corresponding FFO. However, the Selecting Official may decide to select 
an applicant out of rank order based upon one or more of the Selection 
Factors identified above and in Section V.3. of the corresponding FFO. 
The Selecting Official may also decide not to recommend funding for a 
particular State to any of the applicants.
    NIST reserves the right to negotiate the budget costs with any 
applicant selected to receive an award, which may include requesting 
that the applicant remove certain costs. Additionally, NIST may request 
that the successful applicant modify objectives or work plans and 
provide supplemental information required by the agency prior to award. 
NIST also reserves the right to reject an application where information 
is uncovered that raises a reasonable doubt as to the responsibility of 
the applicant. The final approval of selected applications and issuance 
of awards will be by the NIST Grants Officer. The award decisions of 
the NIST Grants Officer are final.
    Anticipated Announcement and Award Date. Review, selection, and 
award processing is expected to be completed in January 2015. The 
anticipated start date for awards made under this notice and the 
corresponding FFO is expected to be July 2015.

Additional Information

    a. Application Replacement Pages. Applicants may not submit 
replacement pages and/or missing documents once an application has been 
submitted. Any revisions must be made by submission of a new 
application that must be received by NIST by the submission deadline.
    b. Notification to Unsuccessful Applicants. Unsuccessful applicants 
will be notified in writing.
    c. Retention of Unsuccessful Applications. An electronic copy of 
each non-selected application will be retained for three (3) years for 
record keeping purposes. After three (3) years, it will be destroyed.

Administrative and National Policy Requirements

    The Department of Commerce Pre-Award Notification Requirements: The 
DoC Pre-Award Notification Requirements for Grants and Cooperative 
Agreements, which are contained in the Federal Register notice of 
December 17, 2012 (77 FR 74634), are applicable to this notice and the 
corresponding FFO and are available at https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2012/12/17/2012-30228/department-of-commerce-pre-award-notification-requirements-for-grants-and-cooperative-agreements.
    Employer/Taxpayer Identification Number (EIN/TIN), Dun and 
Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS), and System for Award 
Management (SAM): All applicants for Federal financial assistance are 
required to obtain a universal identifier in the form of DUNS number 
and maintain a current registration in the Federal government's primary 
registrant database, SAM. On the form SF-424 items 8.b. and 8.c., the 
applicant's 9-digit EIN/TIN and 9-digit DUNS number must be consistent 
with the information in SAM (https://www.sam.gov/) and the Automated 
Standard Application for Payment System (ASAP). For complex 
organizations with multiple EINs/TINs and DUNS numbers, the EIN/TIN and 
DUNS numbers 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 
application is selected for funding. Confirm that the EIN/TIN and DUNS 
number are consistent with the information on the SAM and ASAP. Please 
note that a federal assistance award cannot be issued if the designated 
recipient's registration in the System for Award Management (SAM.gov) 
is not current at the time of the award.
    Per 2 CFR part 25, each applicant must:
    1. Be registered in the Central Contractor Registration (CCR) 
before submitting an application, noting the CCR now resides in SAM;
    2. Maintain an active CCR registration, noting the CCR now resides 
in SAM, with current information at all times during which it has an 
active Federal award or an application under consideration by an 
agency; and
    3. Provide its DUNS number in each application it submits to the 
agency.
    The applicant can obtain a DUNS number from Dun and Bradstreet. A 
DUNS number can be created within one business day. The CCR or SAM 
registration process may take five or more business days to complete. 
If you are currently registered with the CCR, you may not need to make 
any changes. However, please make certain that the EIN/TIN associated 
with your DUNS number is correct. Also note that you will need to 
update your CCR registration annually. This may take three or more 
business days to complete. Information about SAM is available at 
www.sam.gov. See also 2 CFR part 25 and the Federal Register notice 
published on September 14, 2010, at 75 FR 55671.
    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.
    DoC Representation by Corporations Regarding an Unpaid Delinquent 
Tax Liability or a Felony Conviction Under Any Federal Law. In 
accordance with the Federal appropriations law expected to be in effect 
at the time of project funding, NIST anticipates that the selected 
applicants will be provided a form and asked to make a representation 
regarding any unpaid delinquent tax liability or felony conviction 
under any Federal law.
    Funding Availability and Limitation of Liability: Funding for the 
program listed in this notice and the corresponding FFO is contingent 
upon the availability of appropriations. In no event will NIST or DoC 
be responsible for application preparation costs if this program fails 
to receive funding or is cancelled because of agency priorities. 
Publication of this notice and the corresponding FFO does not oblige 
NIST or DoC to award any specific project or to obligate any available 
funds.
    Other Administrative and National Policy Requirements: Additional 
administrative and national policy requirements are set forth in 
Section VI.2. of the corresponding FFO.
    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

[[Page 44752]]

federalism implications as that term is defined in Executive Order 
13132.
    Executive Order 12372: Proposals 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 matters relating to public property, 
loans, grants, benefits or contracts (5 U.S.C. 553(a)). Moreover, 
because notice and comment are not required under 5 U.S.C. 553, or any 
other law, for matters 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: July 28, 2014.
Jason Boehm,
Director, Program Coordination Office.
[FR Doc. 2014-18264 Filed 7-31-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-13-P