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WELCOMEInformation Webinar – July 10, 20142:00 p.m. (EDT)Participants will be muted on entry to the webinarFederal Funding Opportunity:2014-NIST-MEP-B2BN-01National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) David Cranmer, Competition Manager, NIST MEPDiane Henderson, Federal Program Officer, NIST MEP
Information Webinar and Communication Protocols
  • This webinar will provide general information regarding the B2B Network pilots program and offer general guidance on preparing proposals.
  • Proprietary technical discussions about specific project ideas will not be permitted.
  • 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 toB2B Network pilots program.
  • This webinar will provide information about the B2B Network pilots program eligibility, evaluation criteria and selection factors, selection process, and the general characteristics of a competitive B2B Network pilots program proposal.
  • All questions should be presented in writing and submitted to Diane Henderson at NIST MEP, [email protected]
    • Provides for transparency and ensures all answers are documented.
    • Assures questions and answers are handled consistently.
  • Questions and Answers will be posted regularly on the NIST MEP Public Site,
information webinar agenda
Information Webinar Agenda
  • Funding Opportunity Introduction
  • MEP / B2B Networks Background Info
  • Cost Share, Funding and Eligibility
  • Application/Proposal Submission
  • Application Package Details
  • Evaluation Criteria
  • Selection Factors
  • Review and Selection Process
  • Award Administration Information
  • Reporting & Audit Requirements
  • Agency Contacts
funding opportunity introduction 1
Funding Opportunity Introduction (1)
  • Funding Opportunity Title: Business-to-Business Networks (B2BN) Pilot Projects
  • Funding Opportunity Description:

NIST invites proposals from eligible applicants to deploy and maintain one or more Business-to-Business Network (B2B Network) Pilot Projects. The B2B Network

pilots shall have the human and information infrastructure needed to conduct real-time business opportunity scouting, technology scouting, supplier scouting and market scouting including the active content management and human interactions needed to establish and maintain data quality, identify opportunities and make matches on behalf of companies.

mep b2bn background 1
MEP / B2BN Background (1)
  • Need has been demonstrated for a business and technology matching system that supports the work of MEP Centers with their clients in finding timely business opportunities, meeting outstanding technology needs and making known supplier capabilities and capacities to new potential customers.
  • Opportunities for improvement over previous efforts that should increase the use and impacts include:
    • an active, human network to enter and extract timely, relevant information on the various opportunities, actively manage content related to opportunities and the hands-on client knowledge needed to make effective, efficient matches;
    • a flexible IT platform/solution that is responsive to the needs of the MEP system;
    • a sustainable business model for B2B Network transactions conducted on the network;
    • more robust content management related to the business, technology and market opportunities; and
    • a more robust education/awareness effort to demonstrate the benefits of the B2B Network to the manufacturers themselves.
mep b2bn background 2
MEP / B2BN Background (2)
  • America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010 [15 U.S.C. 278k(f)]
  • Requires the NIST Director to establish, within the Hollings Manufacturing Partnership Program, an innovative services initiative to assist small- and medium-sized manufacturers to:
    • create jobs or train newly hired employees;
    • promote technology transfer and commercialization of environmentally focused materials, products, and processes;
    • increase energy efficiency; and
    • improve the competitiveness of industries in the region in which the Center or Centers are located.
mep strategies and the b2b networks pilots 1
MEP Strategies and the B2B Networks Pilots (1)
  • MEP’s System Strategic Plan (2014)
    • Mission: Enhance the productivity and technological performance of U.S. manufacturing.
    • Role: MEP ‘s state and regional centers facilitate and accelerate the transfer of manufacturing technology in partnership with industry, universities and educational institutions, state governments, and NIST and other federal research laboratories and agencies.
    • Strategic Goals:
      • Enhance competitiveness
      • Develop capabilities
      • Support partnerships
      • Champion manufacturing
    • Available on the MEP website,
mep strategies and the b2b networks pilots 2
MEP Strategies and the B2B Networks Pilots (2)
  • Strategic Goals:
    • Enhance Competitiveness
      • Deliver services that create value for all manufacturers, particularly focusing on small and mid-sized manufacturers
      • Enhance competitive position through both Top-Line and Bottom-Line approaches
      • Enable Centers to make new manufacturing technology, techniques and processes usable by U.S. based small and medium-sized companies
    • Develop Capabilities
      • Promote System Learning
    • Support Partnerships
      • Provide Centers with local flexibility and adaptability to operate based on regional priorities and client needs
    • Champion manufacturing
      • Serve as a voice to and a voice for manufacturing and manufacturers in engaging policy makers, stakeholders, and clients.
funding opportunity introduction 2
Funding Opportunity Introduction (2)
  • Authority:
    • The statutory authority for the B2B Network Pilot Projects is 15 U.S.C. 278k(f).
  • Funding Instrument: Cooperative Agreement
    • The funding instrument that will be used for each award is a cooperative agreement. The nature of NIST’s “substantial involvement” will generally be collaboration between NIST MEP and the recipient organization(s). This includes MEP collaboration with a recipient on its progress and approving changes in the statement of work.
  • Period of Performance:
    • The projects awarded under this FFO will have a budget and performance period of up to two (2) years.
cost share funding eligibility
Cost Share, Funding & Eligibility
  • Cost Share:
    • Cost Sharing is not required for awards under this program.
  • Funding Available:
    • NIST anticipates making up to 10 awards at approximately $250,000 per award.
  • Eligible Applicants.
    • Eligible applicants are existing Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Centers.
    • Applicants are strongly encouraged to form teaming arrangements involving multiple MEP Centers and service providers such that multiple Centers share appropriate infrastructure (hardware, software, expertise, knowledge and/or services as examples) to address scouting needs on a regional level.
    • An eligible organization may work individually or include proposed subawardeesand/or contractors or other collaborators in a project proposal, effectively forming a team or consortium.
application proposal submission
  • Dates:
    • ELECTRONIC applications must be received NO LATER THAN 11:59 p.m. (EDT) on Monday, August 4, 2014.
    • NO PAPER applications will be accepted.
    • Applications received after the respective deadline will not be reviewed or considered.
  • Proposal Submission:
    • Electronic submission: Applicants should follow application instructions provided at:
application package details 1
Application Package Details (1)
  • Per Section IV (2)(a) complete applications/proposals must, at a minimum, include the following forms and documents and meet the following requirements identified in the FFO which are:
  • Required Forms and Documents:*
    • SF-424 Application for Federal Assistance
    • SF-424A Budget Information Non-Construction Programs
    • SF-424B Assurances Non-construction
    • CD-511 Certification Regarding Lobbying
    • SF-LLL Disclosure of Lobbying Activities (if applicable)

*Forms are available as part of the application kit

  • Technical Proposal
    • The Technical Proposal is a word-processed document not exceeding 20 pages that is responsive to the program description (see Section I of the FFO) and the evaluation criteria (see Section V.1. of the FFO). It should contain the sections shown on the following slides:
application package details 2
Application Package Details (2):

The Technical Proposal must include:

  • Executive Summary (Refer to Section IV(2)(6a))
  • Project Narrative (Refer to Section IV (2)(6b))
      • Types of Opportunities(Section IV (2)(6b)(i))
      • Strength and Depth of the Network (Section IV (2)(6b)(ii))
      • Technology Infrastructure Needed to Support the Network (Section IV (2)(6b)(iii))
      • Resources (Section IV (2)(6b)(iv)
      • Business Model (Section IV (2)(6b)(v)
  • Statement of Work (Refer to Section IV (2)(6c))
  • Management and Financial Plan (Refer to Section IV (2)(6d))
  • Past Performance (Refer to Section IV (2)(6e))
application package details 3

Application Package Details (3):

In addition to the required forms and Technical Proposal, the Application Package must include:

Budget Narrative (Refer to Section IV(2)(7))

Indirect Cost Rate Agreement (Refer to Section IV(2)(8))

Resumes (Refer to Section IV(2)(9))

Letters of Commitment or Interest. (Refer to Section IV(2)(10))

Letters are not included in the page count.

application package details 4
Application Package Details (4):
  • Application Format and Other Submission Information/Requirements:
    • Please refer to the FFO Section IV for additional details regarding Application Format and other information and requirements associated with Application Submissions
    • The proposal must be responsive to the criteria outlined in the FFO (Section V.1).
    • The proposal must contain both technical and cost information.
  • The proposal page count includes:
    • Table of contents (if included), Technical Proposal with all required sections, resumes, figures, graphs, tables, images, and pictures.
  • The proposal page count does not include:
    • SF-424, Application for Federal Assistance; SF-424A, Budget Information – Non-Construction Programs; SF-424B, Assurances – Non-Construction Programs; SF-LLL, Disclosure of Lobbying Activities; CD-511, Certification Regarding Lobbying; Budget Narrative; Resumes (up to 5 key personnel, one page each); Indirect Cost Rate Agreement; and Letters of Commitment or Interest.
evaluation criteria
Evaluation Criteria
  • Applications will be evaluated based on the evaluation criteria described below, which are assigned equal weighting and set in the context of the applicant’s ability to align the application for accomplishing the objectives outlined by the FFO. Refer to Section V.1. for additional details.
    • Types of Opportunities (20 points).
    • Strength and Depth of Network (20 points total).
      • Market Analysis (7 points).
      • Geographical Location (3 points).
      • Active Content Management (10 points).
    • Technology Infrastructure Needed to Support Network Activities (20 points).
    • Resources (20 points).
    • Business Model(s) (20 points).
    • Statement of Work (20 points).
    • Management and Financial Plan (20 points total).
      • Organizational Structure (3 points).
      • Pilot Project Management (7 points).
      • Budget (5 points).
      • Outcomes (5 points).
  • Total Available – 140 Points
selection factors 1
Selection Factors (1)
  • The Selecting Official shall select proposals for award based upon the rank order of the applications, and may select an application out of rank based on one or more of the following selection factors:
    • The availability of Federal funds.
    • Whether the project duplicates other projects funded by the Department of Commerce (DoC) or by other Federal agencies.
    • Diversity of geographic distribution of awardees
    • Diversity of business models proposed by applicants
    • Diversity of industry sectors and/or supply chains proposed to be addressed by applicants
    • Program priorities and policy factors as shown in Section I (see next slide)
selection factors 2
Selection Factors (2)
  • Program Priorities and Policy Factors (Required)
  • Proposals MUST address the following priorities at some level as they are requirements of the legislation under which this competition is being conducted:
      • Create jobs or train newly hired employees;
      • Promote technology transfer and commercialization of environmentally focused materials, products, and processes;
      • Increase energy efficiency; and
      • Improve the competitiveness of industries in the region in which the Center or Centers are located.
selection factors 3
Selection Factors (3)
  • In addition, the most successful proposals will also address the following (Preferred):
    • High probability of making matches that result in new or expanded business for manufacturing companies and adoption of new-to-the-company technologies that expand its ability to compete. To be considered responsive to this priority, applicants must clearly demonstrate how their pilot project will identify viable, significant opportunities for companies and make matches based on company needs.
    • Directly address major constraints that currently limit development and access to current information about needs and opportunities.
    • Involve partnerships and demonstrate resource leveraging such that pilots are replicable in other regions. Example partnerships include those with industry, academia and local, state and federal agencies that are either sources of opportunities or technologies.
review and selection process 1
Review and Selection Process (1)
  • Initial Administrative Review of Applications (Refer to Section V (3a))
  • Full Review of Eligible, Complete, and Responsive Applications (Refer to Section V (3b))
    • Evaluation/Review and Ranking (Refer to Section V (3b)(1))
      • A rank order will be prepared based on the average of the reviewers’ scores and assigned adjectival ratings in accordance with the following scale:
        • Fundable, Outstanding (109-140);
        • Fundable, Very Good (95-108);
        • Fundable (81-94); or
        • Unfundable (0-80).
      • Following the independent review, the Competition Manager will review the peer reviewers’ comments and the ranking of the proposals, and make funding recommendations to the Selecting Official.
      • The Competition Manager may recommend to the Selecting Official that awards be made out of rank order based upon one or more of the selection factors.
review and selection process 2
Review and Selection Process (2)
  • Selection (Refer to Section V (3b) (2))
    • The Selecting Official, who is the NIST Associate Director for Innovation and Industry Services and Acting Director of the NIST MEP Program, or designee, will make funding recommendations to the NIST Grants Officer based upon the adjectival ratings and the selection factors in Section V.2. of the FFO.
    • Recommendations for awards will be made by the Selecting Official in rank order unless a proposal is justified to be selected out of rank based upon one or more of the selection factors described in Section V.2. of this FFO.
    • If the Selecting Official makes a funding recommendation out of rank order, a justification memorandum will be provided by the Selecting Official to the NIST Grants Officer stating which selection factors are used and how they apply to the identified application(s).
  • 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(s) 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, its subcontractors or subrecipients..
  • NIST may select part, some, all, or none of the applications.
  • 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.
award information 1
Award Information (1)
  • Anticipated Announcement and Award date (Refer to Section V(4))
    • Review, selection, and award processing is expected to be completed in November 2014.
    • The earliest anticipated start date for awards made under this FFO is expected to be December 2014.
  • Award Administration Information
    • Make sure to review Section VI for further details regarding the following:
      • DOC Pre-Award Notification Requirements
      • Employer/Taxpayer Idnetification Number (EIN/TIN, Dun and Bradstreet Data and System for Award Management (SAM)
      • Collaborations with NIST Employees
      • Use of Intellectual Property
      • Funding Availabiilty and Limitation of Liability
      • Certification Regarding Federal Felony and Federal Criminal Tax Convictions
      • OMB Uniform AdministratoiveRequirements, Cost Principles and Audit Requirements
      • Reporting Requirements (Technical Reports and Federal Financial Reports (SF-425)) – Quarterly Submissions
      • Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006
      • Post Client Project Follow-up
    • Third Party Evaluation
      • NIST intends to retain a third party to interface with NIST and award recipients for ongoing evaluation and best practice identification during the performance of B2B Network pilot program awards. Award recipients will be required to participate in this third party evaluation. More detail will be provided as part of the award documentation and at kickoff activities.
award information reporting requirements
Award Information – Reporting Requirements
  • Financial Reports. Each award recipient will be required to submit an SF-425, Federal Financial Report into the MEP's Enterprise Information System (MEIS) on a quarterly basis for the periods ending March 31, June 30, September 30, and December 31 of each year. Reports will be due within 30 days after the end of the reporting period.
  • Performance (Technical) Reports. Each award recipient will be required to submit a technical progress report into the MEP's Enterprise Information System (MEIS) on a quarterly basis for the periods ending March 31, June 30, September 30, and December 31 of each year. Reports will be due within 30 days after the end of the reporting period. A final technical progress report shall be submitted within 90 days after the expiration date of the award. Technical progress reports shall contain information as prescribed in the NIST MEP Reporting Guidelines (OMB Control Number 0693-0032).
    • NIST MEP Reporting Guidelines can be obtained by emailing Diane Henderson @ [email protected]