[Federal Register Volume 67, Number 75 (Thursday, April 18, 2002)]
[Notices]
[Pages 19160-19164]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 02-9374]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Institute of Standards and Technology

[Docket No. 020328074-2074-01]
RIN 0693-ZA48


Announcement of Availability of Funds for a Competition and 
Announcement of a Public Meeting--Advanced Technology Program (ATP)

AGENCY: National Institute of Standards and Technology, Technology 
Administration, Commerce.

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: The Technology Administration's National Institute of 
Standards and Technology (NIST) announces that it will hold a single 
fiscal year 2002 Advanced Technology Program (ATP) competition and 
announces a public meeting (Proposers' Conference) for all interested 
parties. This single competition will continue ATP's practice of being 
open to all technology areas. All fiscal year 2002 proposals received 
may be distributed to technology-specific source evaluation boards in 
areas such as advanced materials, biotechnology, electronics, 
information technology, etc. This notice

[[Page 19161]]

provides general information regarding ATP competitions.

DATES: ATP will begin accepting proposals on April 22, 2002. The ATP 
has established the following three due dates for submission of 
proposals: Monday, June 10, 2002; Wednesday, July 31, 2002; and Monday, 
September 30, 2002. All hand-delivered or electronically submitted 
proposals must be received by 3 p.m. Eastern Time on the specified 
dates; all other proposals must be postmarked by the due dates 
specified above and received no later than 3 p.m. Eastern Time Monday, 
June 24, 2002, Wednesday, August 14, 2002, or Tuesday, October 15, 
2002, respectively. Proposals submitted through guaranteed overnight 
carriers are deemed to be postmarked on the date they are delivered to 
the carrier. To be considered for funding in fiscal year 2002, 
potential proposers must submit their proposals by the first due date 
of June 10, 2002. Proposals submitted after June 10, 2002, may not be 
considered for funding in fiscal year 2002, but rather for funding in 
fiscal year 2003, subject to the availability of funding.

ADDRESSES: Information on the ATP may be obtained from the following 
address: National Institute of Standards and Technology, Advanced 
Technology Program, 100 Bureau Drive, Stop 4701, Administration 
Building 101, Room A413, Gaithersburg, MD 20899-4701.
    Additionally, information on the ATP is available on the Internet 
at http://www.atp.nist.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Requests for ATP information, 
application materials, and/or to have your name added to the ATP 
mailing list for future mailings may also be made by:
    (a) Calling the ATP toll-free ``hotline'' number at 1-800-ATP-FUND 
or 1-800-287-3863. You will have the option of hearing recorded 
messages regarding the status of the ATP or speaking to one of our 
customer representatives who will take your name and address. If you 
reach ATP voice mail, please speak distinctly and slowly and spell the 
words that might cause confusion. Leave your phone number as well as 
your name and address;
    (b) Sending a facsimile (fax) to 301-926-9524 or 301-590-3053; or
    (c) Sending an electronic form available at http//www.atp.nist.gov/
atp/atpform.htm.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    The ATP statute originated in the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness 
Act of 1988 (Pub. L. 100-418, 15 U.S.C. 278n) and was amended by the 
American Technology Preeminence Act of 1991 (Pub. L. 102-245). This law 
has been codified at 15 U.S.C. 278n. The ATP implementing regulations 
are published at 15 CFR part 295, as amended. The Catalog of Federal 
Domestic Assistance (CFDA) number and program title for the ATP are 
11.612, Advanced Technology Program (ATP).
    The ATP is a competitive cost-sharing program designed for the 
Federal government to work in partnership with industry to accelerate 
the development and broad dissemination of challenging, high-risk 
technologies that offer the potential for significant commercial 
payoffs and widespread benefits for the nation. This unique government-
industry partnership accelerates the development of emerging or 
enabling technologies leading to revolutionary new products, industrial 
processes and services that can compete in rapidly changing world 
markets. The ATP challenges industry to take on higher risk projects 
with commensurately higher potential payoff to the nation. The ATP 
provides multi-year funding to single companies and to industry-led 
joint ventures.
    The funding instrument used in ATP awards is a ``cooperative 
agreement.'' Through the use of the cooperative agreement, the ATP is 
designed to foster a government-industry partnership to accomplish a 
public purpose of support or stimulation. NIST plays a substantial role 
by providing technical assistance and monitoring the technical work, 
business progress, and expenditure of Federal funds.

Funding Availability

    Congressional Fiscal Year 2002 appropriations included funds not to 
exceed $60.7 million for new awards. Because ATP is now funding 
applications on a rolling basis, some portion of this may be used for 
new awards submitted pursuant to the procedures established for the FY 
2001 competition and similarly a portion may be used for applications 
submitted under FY 2003 competition.

Eligibility Requirements, Selection Criteria, and Proposal Review 
Process

    The eligibility requirements, selection criteria, and the proposal 
review process are discussed in detail in the ATP implementing 
regulations published at 15 CFR part 295, as amended, and the ATP 
Proposal Preparation Kit dated April 2002.
    ATP will group all proposals received by each of the specified due 
dates and review them as a group called a ``batch.'' Since ATP has 
established three due dates for proposal submission in fiscal year 
2002, there will be three batches. All hand-delivered or electronically 
submitted proposals must be received by 3 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on 
the specified dates below:
    (a) Batch 1--Monday, June 10, 2002.
    (b) Batch 2--Wednesday, July 31, 2002.
    (c) Batch 3--Monday, September 30, 2002.
    All other proposals must be postmarked by 3 p.m. Eastern Standard 
Time on the specified due dates and received by 3:00 p.m. Eastern 
Standard Time on the specified dates below:
    (a) Batch 1--postmarked by Monday, June 10, 2002, and received by 
Monday, June 24, 2002.
    (b) Batch 2--postmarked by Wednesday, July 31, 2002, and received 
by Wednesday, August 14, 2002.
    (c) Batch 3--postmarked by Monday, September 30, 2002, and received 
by Tuesday, October 15, 2002.
    Each batch will be reviewed under a multiple stage and sequential 
review process to reduce the amount of information required at one 
time. Each stage in the process is called a ``gate.'' There are four 
gates as follows:
    (a) Gate 1--The proposer submits detailed information to address 
the scientific and technological merit selection criterion. 
Additionally, the proposer submits preliminary information to address 
the selection criterion on the potential for broad-based economic 
benefits. If the information submitted is determined to have high 
merit, ATP notifies the proposer and requests that the required 
additional information be submitted for consideration in Gate 2. If a 
proposal passes Gate 1, the proposer will have two weeks (14 calendar 
days) from written notification to submit the required information in 
Gate 2.
    (b) Gate 2--The proposer submits more detailed information to 
address the potential for broad-based economic benefits selection 
criterion and detailed budget data. If the information submitted is 
determined to have high merit, ATP notifies the proposer of its 
selection as a semi-finalist and the proposal proceeds to Gate 3.
    (c) Gate 3--The proposer is requested to submit required forms and 
additional documentation, as necessary, and may be invited to NIST for 
an oral review. If ATP determines, based on all the information 
received, that the proposal has sufficiently high merit to be funded, 
the proposal is considered a finalist and proceeds to Gate 4.
    (d) Gate 4--Final award processing and issuance, if selected.

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    Additionally, the following requirements shall apply:
    (a) Semi-finalist proposals will be ranked in the following three 
categories: ``Superior,'' ``Fundable/Deferred,'' or ``Unfundable.'' 
Fundable/Deferred proposals may be deferred for consideration in 
subsequent batches within the same competition.
    (b) Proposers may not submit replacement and/or revised pages and/
or documents for any portion of a proposal once that portion has been 
submitted unless specifically requested by NIST.
    (c) Once a proposer has received notification that their proposal 
will not be funded, the proposer may revise that proposal for 
consideration one additional time and resubmit it no later than the end 
of this fiscal year 2002 competition date of September 30, 2002.

Funding Amounts, Award Period and Cost Sharing (Matching) 
Requirements

    (a) A single company can receive up to $2 million in total for R&D 
activities for up to 3 years. ATP funds may only be used to pay for 
direct costs for single company recipients. Single company recipients 
are responsible for funding all of their overhead/indirect costs. Small 
and medium size companies applying as single company proposers are not 
required to provide cost-sharing of direct costs; however, they may pay 
a portion of the direct costs, if they wish, in addition to all 
indirect costs. Large companies applying as single company proposers, 
however, must cost-share at least 60 percent of the yearly total 
project costs (direct plus all of the indirect costs). A large company 
is defined as any business, including any parent company plus related 
subsidiaries, having annual revenues in excess of $3.197 billion. (Note 
that this number will likely be updated annually and will be noted in 
future annual announcements of availability of funds and ATP Proposal 
Preparation Kits.)
    (b) Joint ventures (as defined in 15 CFR 295.2(i)) can receive 
funds for R&D activities for up to 5 years with no funding limitation 
other than the announced availability of funds. Joint ventures must 
cost-share (matching funds) more than 50 percent of the yearly total 
project costs (direct plus indirect costs). The term matching funds 
(cost-sharing) is defined in 15 CFR 295.2(l).
    (c) Funds derived from Federal sources may not be used to meet the 
cost-share requirement. Additionally, subcontractors may not contribute 
towards the cost-share requirement.

Application Forms and Proposal Preparation Kit

    The April 2002 version of the ATP Proposal Preparation Kit must be 
used to prepare and submit all proposals during fiscal year 2002. The 
Kit is available upon request from the ATP at the address and phone 
numbers noted in this notice. The Kit is also available on the Internet 
on the ATP Web site http://www.atp.nist.gov. Note that the ATP is 
mailing the Kit to all those individuals whose names are currently on 
the ATP mailing list. Those individuals need not contact the ATP to 
request a copy. The Kit contains proposal cover sheets, other required 
forms, and all the necessary guidelines for developing an ATP proposal. 
All proposals must be prepared in accordance with the guidelines in the 
Kit.

Submission of Electronic Proposals

    ATP is now accepting proposals submitted electronically via ATP's 
Electronic Submission System. To be accepted, the proposal must have a 
valid ACES digital signature, and the attachment (proposal narrative) 
must be readable in one of the formats described on the Electronic 
Submission System website (webguy.nist.gov). Details about how to 
submit electronically, including how to get an ACES Digital 
Certificate, operating system, hardware and software requirements, 
downloads, and instructions are available at webguy.nist.gov. Font, 
line spacing, margin, page limit, page numbering, and page size 
requirements still apply.
    The due dates for submission of electronic proposals are the same 
as those specified under the DATES section of this notice. Please note 
that an electronically submitted proposal will not be considered to be 
received unless it has a valid ACES digital signature and the 
attachment (proposal narrative) is readable in one of the formats 
described on the Electronic Submission System Web site 
(webguy.nist.gov).

Submission of Revised Proposals

    A proposer may submit a proposal that is a revised version of a 
proposal submitted to a previous ATP competition. NIST will examine 
such proposals to determine whether substantial revisions have been 
made. Where the revisions are determined not to be substantial, NIST 
reserves the right to score and rank, or where appropriate, to reject, 
such proposals based on reviews of the previously submitted proposal.

Other Requirements

    (a) If a proposal is selected as a semi-finalist, ATP reserves the 
right to seek clarification and necessary information through a list of 
questions to the proposer.
    (b) There are certain types of projects that ATP will not fund 
because they are inconsistent with the ATP mission. These include:
    (1) Straightforward improvements of existing products or product 
development;
    (2) Projects that are predominately basic research;
    (3) Pre-commercial scale demonstration projects where the emphasis 
is on demonstration that some technology works on a large scale or is 
economically sound rather than on R&D;
    (4) Projects involving military weapons R&D or R&D that is of 
interest only to some mission agency rather than to the commercial 
marketplace;
    (5) Projects that ATP believes would likely be completed with or 
without ATP funds in the same time frame or nearly the same time frame;
    (6) Predominantly straightforward, routine data gathering (e.g., 
creation of voluntary consensus standards, data gathering/handbook 
preparation, testing of materials, or unbounded research aimed at basic 
discovery science), or application of standard engineering practices;
    (7) Projects that are simply a follow-on or continuation of tasks 
previously funded in ATP projects from essentially the same proposing 
team.
    (c) Certain costs that may be allowed in Federal financial 
assistance programs are not eligible for funding under ATP awards. The 
ATP Proposal Preparation Kit lists these costs.
    (d) For joint ventures, no costs shall be incurred under an ATP 
project by the joint venture members until such time as a joint venture 
agreement has been executed by all of the joint venture members and 
approved by NIST. NIST will withhold approval until it determines that 
a sufficient number of members have signed the joint venture agreement. 
Costs will only be allowed after the execution of the joint venture 
agreement and approval by NIST.
    (e) Any proposal that includes research involving human subjects, 
human tissue and/or cells, data or recordings involving human subjects 
must meet the requirements of the Common Rule for the Protection of 
Human Subjects, codified for the Department of Commerce at 15 CFR part 
27. In addition, any proposal that includes research on these topics 
must be in compliance with any statutory

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requirements imposed upon NIH and other Federal agencies regarding 
these topics, all regulatory policies and guidance adopted by NIH, FDA, 
and other Federal agencies on these topics, and all Presidential 
statements of policy on these topics, which are provided in the 
handbook entitled ``Advanced Technology Program Guidelines and 
Documentation Requirements for Research Involving Human and Animal 
Subjects.'' This handbook may be obtained through any of the options 
described in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this 
notice.
    The NIST Advanced Technology Program (ATP) adheres to all 
Presidential policies, statutes, guidelines and regulations regarding 
the use of human embryonic stem cells. At this time, ATP will not 
consider proposals that involve the use, derivation, or 
characterization of human embryonic stem cells.
    On December 3, 2000, the U.S. Department of Health and Human 
Services (DHHS) introduced the Federalwide Assurance of Protection for 
Human Subjects (FWA). The FWA covers all of an institution's Federally-
supported human subjects research, and eliminates the need for other 
types of Assurance documents. For information about FWAs, please see 
the OHRP Web site at http://ohrp.osophs.dhhs.gov/irbasur.htm.
    In accordance with the DHHS change, NIST will accept the submission 
of human subjects protocols that have been approved by Institutional 
Review Boards (IRBs) possessing a current, valid FWA from DHHS. NIST 
will also continue to accept the submission of human subjects protocols 
that have been approved by IRBs possessing a current, valid Multiple 
Project Assurance (MPA) from DHHS. NIST will not accept the submission 
of human subjects protocols that have been approved by IRBs possessing 
a Single Project Assurance (SPA), nor will NIST issue an SPA for IRB 
review of a human subjects protocol.
    (f) Any proposal that includes research involving vertebrate 
animals must be in compliance with the National Research Council's 
``Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals'' which can be 
obtained from National Academy Press, 2101 Constitution Avenue, NW., 
Washington, DC 20055. In addition, such proposals must meet the 
requirements of the Animal Welfare Act (7 U.S.C. 2131 et seq.), 9 CFR 
parts 1, 2, and 3, and if appropriate, 21 CFR part 58.
    In addition, all requirements as set forth in the handbook entitled 
``Advanced Technology Program Guidelines and Documentation Requirements 
for Research Involving Human and Animal Subjects,'' shall apply. This 
handbook may be obtained through any of the options described in the 
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this notice.
    (g) The intellectual property provisions found at 15 U.S.C. 
278n(d)(11) and 15 CFR 295.8 shall apply to all ATP awards.
    (h) Proposers, including each joint venture participant, shall 
provide sufficient funds in the project multi-year budget for project 
audits as specified below. Except for vendors that provide goods and 
services, subcontractors that receive more than $300,000 each, 
including universities, are also subject to the audit requirement. It 
is the responsibility of the recipient to ensure that audits are 
performed in a timely fashion. Most routine audits can be performed by 
the recipient's external CPA. However, the Department of Commerce 
Office of Inspector General (DoC/OIG) and General Accounting Office 
(GAO) reserve the right to carry out audits as deemed necessary and 
appropriate. ATP recipients must be willing to submit to audits (e.g., 
audits of cost-accounting systems, direct-cost expenditures, indirect 
cost rates, or other periodic reviews) by the Inspectors General or 
GAO. Periodic project audits shall be performed as follows:
    (1) For awards less than 24 months, an audit is required at the end 
of the project.
    (2) For 2-, 3-, or 4-year awards, an audit is required after the 
first year and at the end of the project.
    (3) For 5-year awards, an audit is required after the first year, 
third year, and at the end of the project.
    Proposers should budget for audits as follows:
    (1) Proposers should allocate funds in their proposal budgets under 
the ``Other'' direct cost category for the project audit. For joint 
ventures, this must be included in each participant's budget, as each 
participant is responsible for the performance of their own project 
audit.
    (2) If an organization's indirect cost pool includes audit costs, 
this is acceptable. In these cases, an explanation must be provided in 
the budget narrative and no audit costs reflected under ``Other'' 
costs.
    (3) If a cognizant Federal agency auditor is resident within the 
company, the cognizant Federal agency auditor may perform the audit. In 
this case, an explanation must be provided in the budget narrative and 
no audit costs reflected under ``Other'' costs or ``Indirect Costs.''
    Audits of all recipients shall be conducted in accordance with 
Government Auditing Standards (GAS), issued by the Comptroller General 
of the United States (the Yellow Book). If an ATP recipient is required 
to have an audit performed in accordance with OMB Circular A-133, 
Audits of States, Local Government, and Non-Profit Organizations, the 
annual Circular A-133 audit is deemed to meet the ATP audit 
requirement.
    If an ATP recipient does not have an annual Circular A-133 audit 
performed, the recipient should follow the following project audit 
requirements:
    (1) Audits for single company recipients shall be conducted using 
the NIST Program-Specific Audit Guidelines for Advanced Technology 
Program (ATP) Cooperative Agreements with Single Companies.
    (2) Audits for joint venture recipients shall be conducted using 
the NIST Program-Specific Audit Guidelines for Advanced Technology 
Program (ATP) Cooperative Agreements with Joint Ventures.
    (i) All ATP recipients must agree to adhere to the U.S. Export 
Administration laws and regulations and shall not export or re-export, 
directly or indirectly, any technical data created with Government 
funding under an award to any country for which the United States 
Government or any agency thereof, at the time of such export or re-
export requires an export license or other Governmental approval 
without first obtaining such licenses or approval and the written 
clearance of the NIST Grants Officer. The Bureau of Export 
Administration (BXA) shall conduct an annual review for any relevant 
information about a proposer and/or Recipient. NIST reserves the right 
to not issue any award or suspend or terminate an existing award in the 
event that significant adverse information about a proposer or 
Recipient is disclosed by BXA to the NIST Grants Officer.
    (j) Intergovernmental Review. The ATP does not involve the 
mandatory payment of any matching funds from state or local government 
and does not affect directly any state or local government. 
Accordingly, the Department of Commerce has determined that Executive 
Order 12372, ``Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs'' is not 
applicable to this program.
    (k) Paperwork Reduction Act. This notice contains collection of 
information requirements subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA). 
The

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use of Standards Forms 424B and SF-LLL has been approved by OMB under 
the respective control numbers 0348-0040 and 0348-0046. The use of Form 
NIST-1262 (pp.1-4) and Form NIST-1263 (pp.1-5) has been approved by OMB 
under the control number 0693-0009. The use of Commerce Department Form 
CD-346 has been approved by OMB under the control number 0605-0001. 
Notwithstanding any other provision of the law, no person is required 
to respond to, nor shall any person be subject to a penalty for failure 
to comply with a collection of information, subject to the requirements 
of the PRA, unless that collection of information displays a currently 
valid OMB Control Number.
    (l) Executive Order Statement. This funding notice was determined 
to be ``not significant'' for purposes of Executive Order 12866.
    (m) ATP is not accepting pre-proposals during fiscal year 2002.
    (n) The Department of Commerce Pre-Award Notification Requirements 
for Grants and Cooperative Agreements contained in the Federal Register 
notice of October 1, 2001 (66 FR 49917), are applicable to this 
solicitation. However, please note that the Department of Commerce will 
not implement the requirements of Executive Order 13202 (66 FR 49921), 
pursuant to guidance issued by the Office of Management and Budget in 
light of a court opinion which found that the Executive Order was not 
legally authorized. See Building and Construction Trades Department v. 
Allbaugh, 172 F. Supp. 138 (D.D.C. 2001). This decision is currently on 
appeal. When the case has been finally resolved, the Department will 
provide further information on implementation of Executive Order 13202.
    (o) The Program will retain one copy of each unsuccessful 
application for recordkeeping purposes. The remaining copies will be 
destroyed.
    (p) NIST requires each recipient, whether receiving Federal funds 
or only providing matching funds, to have a functioning financial 
management system that meets the provisions of 15 CFR 14.21, to ensure 
proper accountability of funds. In cases where a recipient has had no 
prior Federal support or NIST has reason to question whether the 
recipient's financial management standards meet Federal requirements, 
the recipient will be required to submit an accounting system 
certification issued by an Independent Certified Public Accountant to 
the NIST Grants Officer within 90 days from the date of award.
    (q) Classification. Because notice and comment are not required 
under 5 U.S.C. 553(a)(2), or any other law, for notices relating to 
public property, loans, grants, benefits, or contracts, a Regulatory 
Flexibility Analysis, 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq., is not required and has not 
been prepared for this notice.

Public Meeting

    A public meeting (Proposers' Conference) for potential proposers 
and other interested parties will be held:
     9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Thursday, May 
2, 2002. Gaithersburg Hilton, 620 Perry Parkway, Gaithersburg, Maryland 
20877. Telephone: (301) 977-8900. Facsimile: (301) 977-3450.
    The meeting will provide general information regarding the ATP, 
tips on preparing good proposals, and an opportunity for audience 
questions. Attendance at this public meeting is not required. No 
registration fee will be charged. To register for the public meeting or 
for further information, contact ATP at 1-800-ATP-FUND (1-800-287-
3863), or register via the NIST Web site: www.atp.nist.gov/atp/
reg_form.htm.

    Dated: April 17, 2002.
Arden L. Bement,
Director.
[FR Doc. 02-9374 Filed 4-17-02; 8:45 am]
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