(a) Authority (1) Establishment
The Director shall establish a pilot program of awards to partnerships among participants described in paragraph (2) for the purposes described in paragraph (3). Awards shall be made on a peer-reviewed, competitive basis.
Such partnerships shall include at least—
(A) 1 manufacturing industry partner; and
(B) 1 nonindustry partner.
The purpose of the program under this section is to foster cost-shared collaborations among firms, educational institutions, research institutions, State agencies, and nonprofit organizations to encourage the development of innovative, multidisciplinary manufacturing technologies. Partnerships receiving awards under this section shall conduct applied research to develop new manufacturing processes, techniques, or materials that would contribute to improved performance, productivity, and competitiveness of United States manufacturing, and build lasting alliances among collaborators.
(b) Program contribution
Awards under this section shall provide for not more than one-third of the costs of a partnership. Not more than an additional one-third of such costs may be obtained directly or indirectly from other Federal sources.
Applications for awards under this section shall be submitted in such manner, at such time, and containing such information as the Director shall require. Such applications shall describe at a minimum—
(1) how each partner will participate in developing and carrying out the research agenda of the partnership;
(2) the research that the grant would fund; and
(3) how the research to be funded with the award would contribute to improved performance, productivity, and competitiveness of the United States manufacturing industry.
(d) Selection criteria
In selecting applications for awards under this section, the Director shall consider at a minimum—
(1) the degree to which projects will have a broad impact on manufacturing;
(2) the novelty and scientific and technical merit of the proposed projects; and
(3) the demonstrated capabilities of the applicants to successfully carry out the proposed research.
In selecting applications under this section the Director shall ensure, to the extent practicable, a distribution of overall awards among a variety of manufacturing industry sectors and a range of firm sizes.
In carrying out this section, the Director shall run a single pilot competition to solicit and make awards. Each award shall be for a 3-year period.
15 U.S.C. § 278r (2018)