Award Competitions for Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Centers in the States of Alaska, Idaho, Illinois, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Utah, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin, 12451-12456 [2015-05297]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 45 / Monday, March 9, 2015 / Notices occurred and the subsequent assessment of double antidumping duties. We are issuing and publishing these results in accordance with sections 751(a)(1) and 777(i)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.213. Dated: March 2, 2015. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix—List of Topics Discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum 1. Summary 2. Background 3. Scope of the Order 4. Discussion of the Methodology a. Non-Market Economy Country Status b. Single-Entity Treatment c. Bona Fide Sale Analysis d. Separate Rates e. Surrogate Country f. Surrogate Value Comments g. Date of Sale h. Normal Value Comparisons i. Determination of the Comparison Method j. U.S. Price k. Normal Value l. Factor Valuations m. Currency Conversion 5. Conclusion [FR Doc. 2015–05287 Filed 3–6–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–DS–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Institute of Standards and Technology [Docket Number: 150302201–5201–01] RIN 0693–ZB09 Award Competitions for Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Centers in the States of Alaska, Idaho, Illinois, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Utah, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), United States Department of Commerce (DoC). ACTION: Notice of funding availability. AGENCY: NIST invites applications from eligible organizations in connection with NIST’s funding up to twelve (12) separate MEP cooperative agreements for the operation of an MEP Center in the designated States’ service areas and in the funding amounts identified in the corresponding 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 mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:04 Mar 06, 2015 Jkt 235001 and medium-sized manufacturers within the whole State designated in the applications. The selected organization 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 Monday, June 1, 2015. Paper applications will not be accepted. 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 January 1, 2016. ADDRESSES: Applications must be submitted electronically through www.grants.gov. NIST will not accept applications submitted by mail, facsimile, or by email. 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: mepffo@nist.gov; Fax: (301) 963–6556. Grants Administration questions should be addressed to: Jannet Cancino, Grants 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) 975–6368. For technical assistance with Grants.gov submissions 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://nist.gov/mep/ffo-statecompetitions-02.cfm. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Electronic access: Applicants are strongly encouraged to read the corresponding 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: PO 00000 Frm 00030 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 12451 Manufacturing Extension Partnership— 11.611. Webinar Information Session: NIST/ MEP will hold one or more webinar information sessions for organizations that are considering applying for this funding opportunity. These webinars will provide general information regarding MEP and offer general guidance on preparing proposals. NIST/ MEP staff will be available at the webinars to answer general questions. During the webinars, 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 webinars 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 requirements, evaluation criteria and selection factors, selection process, and the general characteristics of a competitive MEP proposal during this webinar. The webinars will be held approximately fifteen (15) to thirty (30) business days after posting of this notice and the corresponding FFO and publication of an abbreviated solicitation in the Federal Register. The exact dates and times of the webinars will be posted on the MEP Web site at http://nist.gov/ mep/ffo-state-competitions-02.cfm. The webinars will be recorded, and a link to the recordings will be posted on the MEP Web site. In addition, the webinar presentations will be available after the webinars on the MEP Web site. Organizations wishing to participate in one or more of the webinars must register in advance by contacting MEP by email at mepffo@nist.gov. Participation in the webinars 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 organizations in connection with NIST’s funding up to twelve (12) 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 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 whole State designated in the applications. The selected organization will become part of the MEP national system of extension service providers, currently comprised of more than 400 Centers and E:\FR\FM\09MRN1.SGM 09MRN1 12452 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 45 / Monday, March 9, 2015 / Notices 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 the 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 twelve (12) 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 the corresponding FFO is contingent upon the availability of appropriated funds. The table below lists the twelve (12) States identified for funding as part of this notice and the corresponding FFO and the estimated amount of funding available for each: Annual Federal funding for each year of the award MEP Center location and assigned geographical service area (by State) mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Alaska .............................................................................................................................................................. Idaho ................................................................................................................................................................ Illinois ............................................................................................................................................................... Minnesota ........................................................................................................................................................ New Jersey ...................................................................................................................................................... New York ......................................................................................................................................................... Ohio ................................................................................................................................................................. Oklahoma ......................................................................................................................................................... Utah ................................................................................................................................................................. Washington ...................................................................................................................................................... West Virginia .................................................................................................................................................... Wisconsin ......................................................................................................................................................... Applicants may propose annual Federal funding amounts that are different from the anticipated annual Federal funding amounts set forth in the above table; provided, that the total amount of Federal funding being requested by an Applicant does not exceed the total amount of federal funding for the five-year award period as set forth in the above table. For example, if the anticipated annual Federal funding amount for an MEP Center is $500,000 and the total Federal funding amount for the five-year award period is $2,500,000, an Applicant may propose Federal funding amounts greater, less than, or equal to $500,000 for any year or years of the award, so long as the total amount of Federal funding being requested by the Applicant for the entire five-year award period does not exceed $2,500,000. 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 VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:04 Mar 06, 2015 Jkt 235001 increase or decrease funding is at the sole discretion of NIST. Potential for Additional 5 Years. Initial awards issued pursuant to this notice and corresponding FFO are expected to be for up to five (5) years with the possibility for NIST to renew the award, on a non-competitive basis, 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 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 PO 00000 Frm 00031 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 $500,000 640,236 5,029,910 2,653,649 2,814,432 5,985,194 5,246,822 1,309,080 1,147,573 2,534,872 500,000 3,250,792 Total Federal funding for 5 year award period $2,500,000 3,201,180 25,149,550 13,268,245 14,072,160 29,925,970 26,234,110 6,545,400 5,737,865 12,674,360 2,500,000 16,253,960 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) negotiate and develop a detailed threeyear operating plan with the recipient. NIST/MEP anticipates an additional set of site visits at the MEP Center and/or telephonic meetings with the recipient to finalize the three-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 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).(e). of the corresponding FFO.) Representatives from key subrecipients and other key strategic partners may attend the kick-off conference with the prior written approval of the Grants Officer. Applicants proposing to have key subrecipients and/or other key strategic partners attend the kick-off E:\FR\FM\09MRN1.SGM 09MRN1 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 45 / Monday, March 9, 2015 / Notices conference should clearly indicate so as part of the budget narrative for year one of the project. MEP System-Wide Meetings NIST/MEP typically organizes systemwide meetings approximately four times a year in an effort to share best practices, new and emerging trends, and additional topics of interest. These meetings are rotated throughout the United States and typically involve 3– 4 days of resource time and associated travel costs for each meeting. 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).(e). 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 mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 1–3 .................. 4 ...................... 5 and beyond .. Minimum nonFederal share 1/2 2/5 1/3 1/2 3/5 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 2 CFR 200.306, 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 VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:04 Mar 06, 2015 Jkt 235001 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.ii. 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 2 CFR 200.80, as applicable) generated by an MEP Center may be used by a recipient towards the required non-federal cost share under an MEP award. As with the Federal share, any proposed costs included as non-Federal cost sharing must be an allowable/ eligible cost under this program and under the Federal cost principles set forth in 2 CFR part 200, subpart E. NonFederal cost sharing incorporated into the budget of an approved MEP cooperative agreement is subject to audit in the same general manner as Federal award funds. See 2 CFR part 200, subpart F. As set forth in Section IV.2.a.(7) of the corresponding FFO, a letter of commitment is required from an authorized representative of the applicant, stating the total amount of cost share to be contributed by the applicant towards the proposed MEP Center. Letters of commitment for all other third-party sources of non-Federal cost sharing identified in a proposal are not required, but are strongly encouraged. Eligibility: The eligibility requirements given in this section of the FFO 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 public and private nonprofit organizations, nonprofit or State colleges and universities, public or nonprofit community and technical colleges, and State, local or Tribal governments. Existing MEP awardees and new applicants that meet the eligibility criteria set forth in Section III.1. of the corresponding FFO 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 the applicant’s proposal, effectively forming a team. However, as discussed PO 00000 Frm 00032 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 12453 in Section III.3.a. 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 Section IV. of the corresponding FFO announcement. Also see Sections IV.b.(1)., IV.b.(2)., and IV.b.(7). in the Full Announcement Text of the corresponding FFO. 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; Sub-criteria i through iv will be weighted equally) NIST/MEP will evaluate the extent to which the applicant’s Executive Summary and Project Narrative demonstrates how the applicant’s methodology will efficiently and effectively establish an MEP Center and provide manufacturing extension services to primarily small and mediumsized manufacturers in the applicable State-wide geographical service area identified in Section II.2. of the corresponding FFO. Applicants should name the state to be covered in the first sentence of the Executive Summary and Project Narrative. Reviewers will consider the following topics when evaluating the Executive Summary and Project Narrative: i. Center Strategy. Reviewers will assess the applicant’s strategy proposed for the Center to deliver services that support a strong manufacturing ecosystem, meet manufacturers’ needs and generate impact. Reviewers will assess the quality with which the applicant: • Incorporates the market analysis described in the criterion V.1.a.ii.(1). below 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; E:\FR\FM\09MRN1.SGM 09MRN1 mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 12454 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 45 / Monday, March 9, 2015 / Notices • defines the Center’s existing and/or proposed roles and relationships with other entities in the State’s manufacturing ecosystem, including State, regional, and local agencies, economic development organizations and educational institutions such as universities and community or technical colleges, industry associations, and other appropriate entities; • plans to engage with other entities in Statewide and/or regional advanced manufacturing initiatives; and • supports achievements of the MEP mission and objectives while also satisfying the interests of other stakeholders, investors, and partners. ii. Market Understanding. Reviewers will assess the strategy proposed for the Center to define the target market, understand the needs of manufacturers (especially Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs)), and to define appropriate services to meet identified needs. Reviewers will evaluate the proposed approach for regularly updating this understanding through the five years. The following sub-topics will be evaluated and given equal weight: (1) Market Segmentation. Reviewers will assess the quality and extent of the applicant’s market segmentation including: • Company size, geography, industry including a segmentation of rural, emerging, start-up and very small manufacturers as appropriate to the state; • alignment with state and/or regional initiatives; and • other important factors identified by the applicant. (2) Needs Identification and Product/ Service Offerings. Reviewers will assess the quality and extent of the applicant’s proposed needs identification and proposed products and services for both sales growth and operational improvement in response to the applicant’s market segmentation and understanding assessed by reviewers under the preceding Section V.1.a.ii.1. Of particular interest is how the applicant would leverage new manufacturing technologies, techniques and processes usable by small and medium-sized manufacturers. Reviewers will also consider how an applicant’s proposed approach will support a job-driven training agenda with manufacturing clients. iii. Business Model. Reviewers will assess the applicant’s proposed business model for the Center as the applicant provides in its Project Narrative, Qualifications of the Applicant; Key Personnel, Organizational Structure and Budget Tables and Budget Narratives sections of its Technical Proposal, VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:04 Mar 06, 2015 Jkt 235001 submitted under section IV.2.a.(6). of the corresponding FFO, and the proposed business model’s ability to execute the strategy evaluated under criterion V.1.a.i. above, based on the market understanding evaluated under criterion V.1.a.ii. above. The following sub-topics will be evaluated and given equal weight: (1) Outreach and Service Delivery to the Market. Reviewers will assess the extent to which the proposed Center is organized to: • Identify, reach and provide proposed services to key market segments and individual manufacturers described above; • work with a manufacturer’s leadership in strategic discussions related to new technologies, new products and new markets; and • leverage the applicant’s past experience in working with small and medium-sized manufacturers as a basis for future programmatic success. (2) Partnership Leverage and Linkages. Reviewers will assess the extent to which the proposed Center will make effective use of resources or partnerships with third parties such as industry, universities, community/ technical colleges, nonprofit economic development organizations, and Federal, State and Local Government Agencies in the Center’s business model. iv. Performance Measurement and Management. Reviewers will assess the extent to which the applicant will use a systematic approach to measuring and managing performance including the: • Quality and extent of the applicant’s stated goals, milestones and outcomes described by operating year (year 1, year 2, etc.); • applicant’s utilization of clientbased business results important to stakeholders in understanding program impact; and • depth of the proposed methodology for program management and internal evaluation likely to ensure effective operations and oversight for meeting program and service delivery objectives. b. Qualifications of the Applicant; Key Personnel and Organizational Structure (30 points; Sub-criteria 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. Reviewers will assess the extent to which the: • Proposed key personnel have the appropriate experience and education in PO 00000 Frm 00033 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 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 control the monetary resources of the proposed Center to achieve its business objectives and maximize its value; • proposed staffing plan flows logically from the specified approach to the market and products and service offerings; and • proposed field staff structure sufficiently supports the geographic concentrations and industry targets for the region. ii. Organizational Structure. Reviewers will assess the extent to which the: • Proposed management structure (leadership and governance) is aligned to support the execution of the strategy, products and services; • organizational roles and responsibilities of key personnel and staff are clearly delineated; and • degree to which the Center’s proposed oversight board meets the requirements of Section III.3.b. of the corresponding FFO or, if such a structure is not currently in place or is not expected to continue 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 January 2016). c. Budget and Financial Plan. (30 points; Sub-criteria 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. Budget. Reviewers will assess the extent to which: • The proposed financial plan is aligned to support the execution of the proposed Center’s strategy and business model over the five (5) year project plan; • the proposed projections for income and expenditures are appropriate for the scale of services that are to be delivered by the proposed Center and the service delivery model envisioned within the context of the overall financial model over the five (5) year project plan; • a reasonable ramp-up or scale-up scope and budget that has the Center fully operational by the 4th year of the project; and • 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. E:\FR\FM\09MRN1.SGM 09MRN1 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 45 / Monday, March 9, 2015 / Notices mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES ii. Quality of the Financial Plan for Meeting the Award’s Non-Federal Cost Share Requirements over 5 Years. Reviewers will assess the quality of and extent to which the: • Applicant clearly describes the total level of cost share and detailed rationale of the cost share, including cash and inkind, in their proposed budget. • applicant’s funding commitments for cost share are documented by letters of support from the applicant, proposed sub-recipients and any other partners identified and meet the basic matching requirements of the program; • applicant’s cost share meets basic requirements of allowability, allocability and reasonableness under applicable federal costs principles set for in 2 CFR part 200, subpart E; • applicant’s underlying accounting system is established or will be established to meet applicable federal costs principles set for in 2 CFR part 200, subpart E; and • the overall proposed financial plan is sufficiently robust and diversified so as to support the long term sustainability of the Center throughout the five (5) years of the project plan. 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 of MEP services within the designated State; e. Whether the project duplicates other projects funded by DoC or by other Federal agencies; and f. Whether the application complements or supports other Administration priorities, or projects supported by DoC or other Federal agencies, such as but not limited to the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation and the Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership. Review and Selection Process Proposals, reports, documents and other information related to applications submitted to NIST and/or relating to financial assistance awards issued by NIST will be reviewed and considered by Federal employees, Federal agents and contractors, and/or by non-Federal personnel enter into nondisclosure agreements covering such information. (1) Initial Administrative Review of Applications. An initial review of timely received applications will be conducted to determine eligibility, VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:04 Mar 06, 2015 Jkt 235001 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 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. (3) Evaluation and Review. Each application will be reviewed by at least three technically qualified individual reviewers who will evaluate each application based on the evaluation criteria (see 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 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 (see 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 PO 00000 Frm 00034 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 12455 the Selecting Official for further consideration. The Selecting Official is the NIST Associate Director of Innovation and Industry Services or 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 twelve (12) 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 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 late 2015. The anticipated start date for awards made under this notice and the corresponding FFO is expected to be January 2016. 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. E:\FR\FM\09MRN1.SGM 09MRN1 mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 12456 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 45 / Monday, March 9, 2015 / Notices Administrative and National Policy Requirements Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles and Audit Requirements: Through 2 CFR 1327.101, the Department of Commerce adopted the Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards at 2 CFR part 200, which apply to awards made pursuant to this FFO. Refer to http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/ text-idx?SID=bd58a13de66200ce25c4fa 5f6fdbf197&node=pt2.1.200&rgn=div5 and http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/textidx?SID=bd58a13de66200ce25c4fa 5f6fdbf197&node=pt2.1.1327&rgn=div5. The Department of Commerce PreAward Notification Requirements: The Department of Commerce Pre-Award Notification Requirements for Grants and Cooperative Agreements, 79 FR 78390 (December 30, 2014), are applicable to this notice and the corresponding FFO and are available at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-201412-30/pdf/2014-30297.pdf. Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (SAM): Pursuant to 2 CFR part 25, applicants and recipients (as the case may be) are required to: (i) Be registered in SAM before submitting its application; (ii) provide a valid unique entity identifier in its application; and (iii) continue to maintain an active SAM registration with current information at all times during which it has an active Federal award or an application or plan under consideration by a Federal awarding agency, unless otherwise excepted from these requirements pursuant to 2 CFR 25.110. NIST will not make a Federal award to an applicant until the applicant has complied with all applicable unique entity identifier and SAM requirements and, if an applicant has not fully complied with the requirements by the time that NIST is ready to make a Federal award pursuant to this notice and the corresponding FFO, NIST may determine that the applicant is not qualified to receive a Federal award and use that determination as a basis for making a Federal award to another applicant. 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. VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:04 Mar 06, 2015 Jkt 235001 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. Certifications Regarding Federal Felony and Federal Criminal Tax Convictions, Unpaid Federal Tax Assessments and Delinquent Federal Tax Returns. In accordance with Federal appropriations law, an authorized representative of the selected applicant(s) may be required to provide certain pre-award certifications regarding federal felony and federal criminal tax convictions, unpaid federal tax assessments, and delinquent federal tax returns. 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 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 PO 00000 Frm 00035 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 been prepared for this notice, 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq. Kevin Kimball, Chief of Staff. [FR Doc. 2015–05297 Filed 3–6–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–13–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A–580–868] Large Residential Washers From the Republic of Korea: Preliminary Results of the Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2012–2014 Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce. SUMMARY: The Department of Commerce (the Department) is conducting an administrative review of the antidumping duty order on large residential washers from the Republic of Korea. The period of review (POR) is August 3, 2012, through January 31, 2014. The review covers three producers and exporters of the subject merchandise, Daewoo Electronics Corporation (Daewoo), LG Electronics, Inc. (LGE), and Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (Samsung). We preliminarily determine that sales of subject merchandise have been made at prices below normal value. Interested parties are invited to comment on these preliminary results. DATES: Effective Date: March 9, 2015. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: David Goldberger or Reza Karamloo, AD/CVD Operations, Office II, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone (202) 482–4136 or (202) 482–4470, respectively. AGENCY: SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Scope of the Order The products covered by the order are all large residential washers and certain subassemblies thereof from Korea. The products are currently classifiable under subheadings 8450.20.0040 and 8450.20.0080 of the Harmonized Tariff System of the United States (HTSUS). Products subject to this order may also enter under HTSUS subheadings 8450.11.0040, 8450.11.0080, 8450.90.2000, and 8450.90.6000. Although the HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the E:\FR\FM\09MRN1.SGM 09MRN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 45 (Monday, March 9, 2015)]
[Notices]
[Pages 12451-12456]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-05297]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Institute of Standards and Technology

[Docket Number: 150302201-5201-01]
RIN 0693-ZB09


Award Competitions for Hollings Manufacturing Extension 
Partnership (MEP) Centers in the States of Alaska, Idaho, Illinois, 
Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Utah, Washington, West 
Virginia and Wisconsin

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 organizations in 
connection with NIST's funding up to twelve (12) separate MEP 
cooperative agreements for the operation of an MEP Center in the 
designated States' service areas and in the funding amounts identified 
in the corresponding 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 whole State designated in the 
applications. The selected organization 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 Monday, June 1, 2015. Paper applications will not 
be accepted. 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 January 1, 
2016.

ADDRESSES: Applications must be submitted electronically through 
www.grants.gov. NIST will not accept applications submitted by mail, 
facsimile, or by email.

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: 
mepffo@nist.gov; Fax: (301) 963-6556. Grants Administration questions 
should be addressed to: Jannet Cancino, Grants 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) 975-6368. For technical assistance 
with Grants.gov submissions 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://nist.gov/mep/ffo-state-competitions-02.cfm.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 
    Electronic access: Applicants are strongly encouraged to read the 
corresponding 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 one or more webinar 
information sessions for organizations that are considering applying 
for this funding opportunity. These webinars will provide general 
information regarding MEP and offer general guidance on preparing 
proposals. NIST/MEP staff will be available at the webinars to answer 
general questions. During the webinars, 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 webinars 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 requirements, evaluation criteria 
and selection factors, selection process, and the general 
characteristics of a competitive MEP proposal during this webinar. The 
webinars will be held approximately fifteen (15) to thirty (30) 
business days after posting of this notice and the corresponding FFO 
and publication of an abbreviated solicitation in the Federal Register. 
The exact dates and times of the webinars will be posted on the MEP Web 
site at http://nist.gov/mep/ffo-state-competitions-02.cfm. The webinars 
will be recorded, and a link to the recordings will be posted on the 
MEP Web site. In addition, the webinar presentations will be available 
after the webinars on the MEP Web site. Organizations wishing to 
participate in one or more of the webinars must register in advance by 
contacting MEP by email at mepffo@nist.gov. Participation in the 
webinars 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 
organizations in connection with NIST's funding up to twelve (12) 
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 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 whole State designated in the applications. 
The selected organization will become part of the MEP national system 
of extension service providers, currently comprised of more than 400 
Centers and

[[Page 12452]]

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 the 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 twelve (12) 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 the corresponding FFO is contingent upon the availability of 
appropriated funds.
    The table below lists the twelve (12) States identified for funding 
as part of this notice and the corresponding FFO and the estimated 
amount of funding available for each:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                       Annual Federal     Total Federal
  MEP Center location and assigned    funding for each    funding for 5
geographical service area (by State)     year of the       year award
                                            award            period
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Alaska..............................          $500,000        $2,500,000
Idaho...............................           640,236         3,201,180
Illinois............................         5,029,910        25,149,550
Minnesota...........................         2,653,649        13,268,245
New Jersey..........................         2,814,432        14,072,160
New York............................         5,985,194        29,925,970
Ohio................................         5,246,822        26,234,110
Oklahoma............................         1,309,080         6,545,400
Utah................................         1,147,573         5,737,865
Washington..........................         2,534,872        12,674,360
West Virginia.......................           500,000         2,500,000
Wisconsin...........................         3,250,792        16,253,960
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Applicants may propose annual Federal funding amounts that are 
different from the anticipated annual Federal funding amounts set forth 
in the above table; provided, that the total amount of Federal funding 
being requested by an Applicant does not exceed the total amount of 
federal funding for the five-year award period as set forth in the 
above table. For example, if the anticipated annual Federal funding 
amount for an MEP Center is $500,000 and the total Federal funding 
amount for the five-year award period is $2,500,000, an Applicant may 
propose Federal funding amounts greater, less than, or equal to 
$500,000 for any year or years of the award, so long as the total 
amount of Federal funding being requested by the Applicant for the 
entire five-year award period does not exceed $2,500,000.
    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 corresponding FFO are expected to be for up to five (5) 
years with the possibility for NIST to renew the award, on a non-
competitive basis, 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 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) negotiate and develop a detailed three-year 
operating plan with the recipient. NIST/MEP anticipates an additional 
set of site visits at the MEP Center and/or telephonic meetings with 
the recipient to finalize the three-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 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).(e). of the 
corresponding FFO.) Representatives from key subrecipients and other 
key strategic partners may attend the kick-off conference with the 
prior written approval of the Grants Officer. Applicants proposing to 
have key subrecipients and/or other key strategic partners attend the 
kick-off

[[Page 12453]]

conference should clearly indicate so as part of the budget narrative 
for year one of the project.

MEP System-Wide Meetings

    NIST/MEP typically organizes system-wide meetings approximately 
four times a year in an effort to share best practices, new and 
emerging trends, and additional topics of interest. These meetings are 
rotated throughout the United States and typically involve 3-4 days of 
resource time and associated travel costs for each meeting. 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).(e). 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    Minimum non-
                 Award year                   NIST 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 2 CFR 200.306, 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.ii. 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 2 CFR 200.80, as applicable) generated by an MEP Center may be used 
by a recipient towards the required non-federal cost share under an MEP 
award.
    As with the Federal share, any proposed costs included as non-
Federal cost sharing must be an allowable/eligible cost under this 
program and under the Federal cost principles set forth in 2 CFR part 
200, subpart E. Non-Federal cost sharing incorporated into the budget 
of an approved MEP cooperative agreement is subject to audit in the 
same general manner as Federal award funds. See 2 CFR part 200, subpart 
F.
    As set forth in Section IV.2.a.(7) of the corresponding FFO, a 
letter of commitment is required from an authorized representative of 
the applicant, stating the total amount of cost share to be contributed 
by the applicant towards the proposed MEP Center. Letters of commitment 
for all other third-party sources of non-Federal cost sharing 
identified in a proposal are not required, but are strongly encouraged.
    Eligibility: The eligibility requirements given in this section of 
the FFO 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 public and 
private nonprofit organizations, nonprofit or State colleges and 
universities, public or nonprofit community and technical colleges, and 
State, local or Tribal governments. Existing MEP awardees and new 
applicants that meet the eligibility criteria set forth in Section 
III.1. of the corresponding FFO 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 the applicant's proposal, effectively forming a team. However, as 
discussed in Section III.3.a. 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 Section IV. of the 
corresponding FFO announcement. Also see Sections IV.b.(1)., IV.b.(2)., 
and IV.b.(7). in the Full Announcement Text of the corresponding FFO.
    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; Sub-
criteria i through iv will be weighted equally) NIST/MEP will evaluate 
the extent to which the applicant's Executive Summary and Project 
Narrative demonstrates how the applicant's methodology 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 corresponding FFO. Applicants should name the 
state to be covered in the first sentence of the Executive Summary and 
Project Narrative. Reviewers will consider the following topics when 
evaluating the Executive Summary and Project Narrative:
    i. Center Strategy. Reviewers will assess the applicant's strategy 
proposed for the Center to deliver services that support a strong 
manufacturing ecosystem, meet manufacturers' needs and generate impact. 
Reviewers will assess the quality with which the applicant:
     Incorporates the market analysis described in the 
criterion V.1.a.ii.(1). below 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;

[[Page 12454]]

     defines the Center's existing and/or proposed roles and 
relationships with other entities in the State's manufacturing 
ecosystem, including State, regional, and local agencies, economic 
development organizations and educational institutions such as 
universities and community or technical colleges, industry 
associations, and other appropriate entities;
     plans to engage with other entities in Statewide and/or 
regional advanced manufacturing initiatives; and
     supports achievements of the MEP mission and objectives 
while also satisfying the interests of other stakeholders, investors, 
and partners.
    ii. Market Understanding. Reviewers will assess the strategy 
proposed for the Center to define the target market, understand the 
needs of manufacturers (especially Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs)), 
and to define appropriate services to meet identified needs. Reviewers 
will evaluate the proposed approach for regularly updating this 
understanding through the five years. The following sub-topics will be 
evaluated and given equal weight:
    (1) Market Segmentation. Reviewers will assess the quality and 
extent of the applicant's market segmentation including:
     Company size, geography, industry including a segmentation 
of rural, emerging, start-up and very small manufacturers as 
appropriate to the state;
     alignment with state and/or regional initiatives; and
     other important factors identified by the applicant.
    (2) Needs Identification and Product/Service Offerings. Reviewers 
will assess the quality and extent of the applicant's proposed needs 
identification and proposed products and services for both sales growth 
and operational improvement in response to the applicant's market 
segmentation and understanding assessed by reviewers under the 
preceding Section V.1.a.ii.1. Of particular interest is how the 
applicant would leverage new manufacturing technologies, techniques and 
processes usable by small and medium-sized manufacturers. Reviewers 
will also consider how an applicant's proposed approach will support a 
job-driven training agenda with manufacturing clients.
    iii. Business Model. Reviewers will assess the applicant's proposed 
business model for the Center as the applicant provides in its Project 
Narrative, Qualifications of the Applicant; Key Personnel, 
Organizational Structure and Budget Tables and Budget Narratives 
sections of its Technical Proposal, submitted under section IV.2.a.(6). 
of the corresponding FFO, and the proposed business model's ability to 
execute the strategy evaluated under criterion V.1.a.i. above, based on 
the market understanding evaluated under criterion V.1.a.ii. above. The 
following sub-topics will be evaluated and given equal weight:
    (1) Outreach and Service Delivery to the Market. Reviewers will 
assess the extent to which the proposed Center is organized to:
     Identify, reach and provide proposed services to key 
market segments and individual manufacturers described above;
     work with a manufacturer's leadership in strategic 
discussions related to new technologies, new products and new markets; 
and
     leverage the applicant's past experience in working with 
small and medium-sized manufacturers as a basis for future programmatic 
success.
    (2) Partnership Leverage and Linkages. Reviewers will assess the 
extent to which the proposed Center will make effective use of 
resources or partnerships with third parties such as industry, 
universities, community/technical colleges, nonprofit economic 
development organizations, and Federal, State and Local Government 
Agencies in the Center's business model.
    iv. Performance Measurement and Management. Reviewers will assess 
the extent to which the applicant will use a systematic approach to 
measuring and managing performance including the:
     Quality and extent of the applicant's stated goals, 
milestones and outcomes described by operating year (year 1, year 2, 
etc.);
     applicant's utilization of client-based business results 
important to stakeholders in understanding program impact; and
     depth of the proposed methodology for program management 
and internal evaluation likely to ensure effective operations and 
oversight for meeting program and service delivery objectives.
    b. Qualifications of the Applicant; Key Personnel and 
Organizational Structure (30 points; Sub-criteria 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. 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 control the monetary 
resources of the proposed Center to achieve its business objectives and 
maximize its value;
     proposed staffing plan flows logically from the specified 
approach to the market and products and service offerings; and
     proposed field staff structure sufficiently supports the 
geographic concentrations and industry targets for the region.
    ii. Organizational Structure. Reviewers will assess the extent to 
which the:
     Proposed management structure (leadership and governance) 
is aligned to support the execution of the strategy, products and 
services;
     organizational roles and responsibilities of key personnel 
and staff are clearly delineated; and
     degree to which the Center's proposed oversight board 
meets the requirements of Section III.3.b. of the corresponding FFO or, 
if such a structure is not currently in place or is not expected to 
continue 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 January 2016).
    c. Budget and Financial Plan. (30 points; Sub-criteria 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. Budget. Reviewers will assess the extent to which:
     The proposed financial plan is aligned to support the 
execution of the proposed Center's strategy and business model over the 
five (5) year project plan;
     the proposed projections for income and expenditures are 
appropriate for the scale of services that are to be delivered by the 
proposed Center and the service delivery model envisioned within the 
context of the overall financial model over the five (5) year project 
plan;
     a reasonable ramp-up or scale-up scope and budget that has 
the Center fully operational by the 4th year of the project; and
     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.

[[Page 12455]]

    ii. Quality of the Financial Plan for Meeting the Award's Non-
Federal Cost Share Requirements over 5 Years. Reviewers will assess the 
quality of and extent to which the:
     Applicant clearly describes the total level of cost share 
and detailed rationale of the cost share, including cash and in-kind, 
in their proposed budget.
     applicant's funding commitments for cost share are 
documented by letters of support from the applicant, proposed sub-
recipients and any other partners identified and meet the basic 
matching requirements of the program;
     applicant's cost share meets basic requirements of 
allowability, allocability and reasonableness under applicable federal 
costs principles set for in 2 CFR part 200, subpart E;
     applicant's underlying accounting system is established or 
will be established to meet applicable federal costs principles set for 
in 2 CFR part 200, subpart E; and
     the overall proposed financial plan is sufficiently robust 
and diversified so as to support the long term sustainability of the 
Center throughout the five (5) years of the project plan.
    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 of MEP services 
within the designated State;
    e. Whether the project duplicates other projects funded by DoC or 
by other Federal agencies; and
    f. Whether the application complements or supports other 
Administration priorities, or projects supported by DoC or other 
Federal agencies, such as but not limited to the National Network for 
Manufacturing Innovation and the Investing in Manufacturing Communities 
Partnership.

Review and Selection Process

    Proposals, reports, documents and other information related to 
applications submitted to NIST and/or relating to financial assistance 
awards issued by NIST will be reviewed and considered by Federal 
employees, Federal agents and contractors, and/or by non-Federal 
personnel enter into nondisclosure agreements covering such 
information.
    (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.
    (3) Evaluation and Review. Each application will be reviewed by at 
least three technically qualified individual reviewers who will 
evaluate each application based on the evaluation criteria (see 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 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 
(see 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.
    The Selecting Official is the NIST Associate Director of Innovation 
and Industry Services or 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 twelve (12) 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 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 late 2015. The 
anticipated start date for awards made under this notice and the 
corresponding FFO is expected to be January 2016.

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.

[[Page 12456]]

Administrative and National Policy Requirements

    Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles and Audit 
Requirements: Through 2 CFR 1327.101, the Department of Commerce 
adopted the Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and 
Audit Requirements for Federal Awards at 2 CFR part 200, which apply to 
awards made pursuant to this FFO. Refer to http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=bd58a13de66200ce25c4fa5f6fdbf197&node=pt2.1.200&rgn=div5 
and http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=bd58a13de66200ce25c4fa5f6fdbf197&node=pt2.1.1327&rgn=div5.
    The Department of Commerce Pre-Award Notification Requirements: The 
Department of Commerce Pre-Award Notification Requirements for Grants 
and Cooperative Agreements, 79 FR 78390 (December 30, 2014), are 
applicable to this notice and the corresponding FFO and are available 
at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-12-30/pdf/2014-30297.pdf.
    Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (SAM): 
Pursuant to 2 CFR part 25, applicants and recipients (as the case may 
be) are required to: (i) Be registered in SAM before submitting its 
application; (ii) provide a valid unique entity identifier in its 
application; and (iii) continue to maintain an active SAM registration 
with current information at all times during which it has an active 
Federal award or an application or plan under consideration by a 
Federal awarding agency, unless otherwise excepted from these 
requirements pursuant to 2 CFR 25.110. NIST will not make a Federal 
award to an applicant until the applicant has complied with all 
applicable unique entity identifier and SAM requirements and, if an 
applicant has not fully complied with the requirements by the time that 
NIST is ready to make a Federal award pursuant to this notice and the 
corresponding FFO, NIST may determine that the applicant is not 
qualified to receive a Federal award and use that determination as a 
basis for making a Federal award to another applicant.
    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.
    Certifications Regarding Federal Felony and Federal Criminal Tax 
Convictions, Unpaid Federal Tax Assessments and Delinquent Federal Tax 
Returns. In accordance with Federal appropriations law, an authorized 
representative of the selected applicant(s) may be required to provide 
certain pre-award certifications regarding federal felony and federal 
criminal tax convictions, unpaid federal tax assessments, and 
delinquent federal tax returns.
    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 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.

Kevin Kimball,
Chief of Staff.
[FR Doc. 2015-05297 Filed 3-6-15; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3510-13-P