According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) Tech Beat feed, the NIST “has announced two funding awards that will support small and mid-sized manufacturers in Nebraska and Alaska.”
The $600,000 grant, which has been in the works since at least last year, is going to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, which will be required to host an MEP center for at least one year (additional grants can be awarded yearly if the center wishes to stay open). As part of a larger system of MEP centers, Nebraska’s will be one of more than 400 other similar centers and field offices around the United States and Puerto Rico.
What does all of this mean, exactly? Well, according to the NIST, MEP programs “provide services that help manufacturing firms enhance their productivity, innovative capacity and technological performance, which strengthens America’s global competitiveness.” Nebraska’s MEP center specifically will focus on helping small- and medium-sized manufacturers with innovation strategies and improvements to help them “create and retain jobs, increase sales, and save time and money.”
As the NIST notes, their MEP program has been highly successful in other locations. By their own figures, for every $1 of federal investment, the MEP generates nearly $20 in new sales growth and in new client investment–adding up to $2.5 billion in new sales annually. What’s more, for every $2,100 of federal investment, the MEP creates or retains one manufacturing job–a small price to pay for a valuable industry with high long-term rewards.
Although this grant has been in the works for a while now, it’s great to see such a valuable grant being brought right here into our great state of Nebraska. We’re already very familiar with the power that the manufacturing industry has here in Nebraska, and we’re certain that this new MEP center at UNL will only serve to reinforce our strengths and make the state a center of manufacturing innovation. This news is great for everybody, from manufacturers to students who may eventually pursue a career in manufacturing, and we’re anxious to see the progress of UNL’s MEP center throughout the near future.
For more information about the grant, see the NIST MEP website.
Photo credit: NIST