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NIST Advanced Technology Program Launches 54 New Technology R&D Projects

For Immediate Release: October 4, 2000

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Contact: Michael Baum
301-975-2763

Commerce Secretary Norman Y. Mineta today announced the selection of 54 new industrial research projects chosen for cost-shared support under the Commerce Department's Advanced Technology Program. The projects are valued at $274 million in private and federal funding.

"The great thing about the Advanced Technology Program is that it attracts visionary projects: the challenging, difficult-to-achieve, potentially far-reaching technologies that well may be the foundations of new industries or American products," said Mineta in announcing the awards. "In partnering with industry on this research, the ATP is making a real contribution to the technological advances that fuel our economy."

Commenting on the announcement, President Clinton said, "In the past few months alone, we've witnessed a new breakthrough in medical imaging technology that will help us fight breast cancer, and work has started on a first-of-its-kind factory in Nebraska that will make polymers for packaging and clothing from corn instead of oil. These and other breakthroughs that have benefited from the Advanced Technology Program are a powerful testament to the value of this innovative industry-government partnership."

The Advanced Technology Program provides cost-shared funding to industry for high-risk R&D projects with the potential to spark important, broad-based economic benefits for the United States. ATP support significantly accelerates potentially important R&D projects. These are projects that industry on its own could not fully support because of the technical risks involved, and often where timing is critical to eventual economic success in the highly competitive global market. In many cases, ATP support is essential for the project to take place at all.

ATP awards are made on the basis of a rigorous competitive review considering scientific and technical merit of each proposal and its potential benefits to the U.S. economy. The program does not fund product development. Applicants must include a detailed business plan for bringing the new technology to market once technical milestones have been achieved under ATP support. The program is managed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, an agency of the Commerce Department's Technology Administration.

The awards announced today were the result of the ATP's 2000 competition, which attracted over 400 proposals representing a total of $1.6 billion in research funding. The selected projects target a broad array of technologies, including pharmaceutical design, tissue engineering, industrial catalysts, energy generation and storage, manufacturing technologies, electronics manufacturing, computer software and electro-optics. The majority of the awards, 40, went to small businesses, either for single-company projects or as the lead company in an industry joint venture. At least 30 universities are involved as joint-venture partners or subcontractors.

If carried through to completion, the 54 projects announced today will be funded at approximately $130 million from private industry, matched by approximately $144 million from the ATP. The awards announced today are contingent on the signing of formal agreements between NIST and the project proposers.

A list of the latest ATP projects and participants are available at http://www.nist.gov/public_affairs/atp/2000project.htm. More details are available at www.atp.nist.gov or by faxing a request to NIST Public and Business Affairs at (301) 926-1630.

As a non-regulatory agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce's Technology Administration, NIST strengthens the U.S. economy and improves the quality of life by working with industry to develop and apply technology, measurements and standards through four partnerships: the Advanced Technology Program, the Measurement and Standards Laboratories, the Manufacturing Extension Partnership and the Baldrige National Quality Program.