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NIST Seeks Comments on Structure for Proposed Advanced Manufacturing Technology Consortia (AMTech) Program

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A notice published today by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in the Federal Register requests opinions from the public about the best ways to structure a proposed new Advanced Manufacturing Technology Consortia (AMTech) Program.

First described in the President's fiscal year 2012 budget request for NIST, the AMTech Program is a new public-private partnership initiative that would provide federal grants to leverage existing consortia or establish new ones focused on long-term industrial research needs. The grants would fund development of research road maps and projects in advanced manufacturing and enhance the research productivity of consortia members through improved coordination and efficiencies. The program's goal is to accelerate the innovation process—discovery to invention to development of new manufacturing process technologies—that  creates skilled, high-wage manufacturing jobs.

The Request for Information (RFI) asks interested parties to answer 23 questions about eligibility for consortia membership, selection criteria for research funds, best practices for maximizing small business participation or disseminating results, and a number of other topics.

Comments will be accepted by email only to through Sept. 20, 2011. All comments will be made publicly available.

For further information, see the full Federal Register notice and the description of the AMTech Program in NIST's fiscal year 2012 budget request (pages 250 to 254).

Barbara Lambis