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NIST Names 4 New Awardees to Operate Manufacturing Extension Partnership Centers

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The National Institute of Standards and Technology has selected four organizations to run manufacturing extension partnership centers in four states under separate cooperative agreements.

NIST said Monday the awards, which have a cumulative value of nearly $19.8 million, include a cost-share requirement and an initial performance period of five years maximum.

The University of Louisville Research Foundation was awarded $6.2 million to operate the MEP center in Kentucky, while Lake Area Technical College received $3.5 million to support small and medium-sized manufacturers in South Dakota. Both institutions are new members of the MEP National Network of centers.

The University of Rhode Island Research Foundation and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln have nearly 10 years experience operating MEP facilities. They received $6 million and $3.9 million, respectively.

Mojdeh Bahar, NIST associate director for innovation and industry services, said MEP centers will work to “help manufacturers address challenges and leverage opportunities in the critical areas of supply chain, workforce, technology innovation and much more.”

She added the agency’s Job Quality Toolkit will serve as guide for the facilities to create high-quality job opportunities.