[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 209 (Friday, October 29, 2010)]
[Notices]
[Pages 66737-66739]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-27449]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Institute of Standards and Technology

[Docket Number: 101015516-0516-02]


Technology Innovation Program (TIP) Seeks Comments on White 
Papers

AGENCY: National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), 
Department of Commerce.

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: The National Institute of Standards and Technology's (NIST) 
Technology Innovation Program (TIP) announces that it is seeking 
comments on white papers prepared by TIP staff from any interested 
party, including academia; Federal, State, and local governments; 
industry; national laboratories; and professional organizations/
societies; and others. Comments will assist in the further refinement 
of areas of critical national need and the associated technical 
challenges that could be addressed in future TIP competitions.

DATES: The dates for submission of comments on white papers are: 
October 29, 2010 through September 30, 2011.

ADDRESSES: The white papers are available on TIP's Web site at http://www.nist.gov/tip/wp/index.cfm. Comments on white papers may be 
submitted using the comment button found on the first and last page of 
each white paper found on TIP's Web site at http://www.nist.gov/tip/wp/index.cfm.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Thomas Wiggins at 301-975-5416 or by 
e-mail at thomas.wiggins@nist.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:
    Background Information: The Technology Innovation Program (TIP) at 
the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) was 
established for the purpose of assisting U.S. businesses and 
institutions of higher education or other organizations, such as 
national laboratories and nonprofit research institutions, to support, 
promote, and accelerate innovation in the United States through high-
risk, high-reward research in areas of critical national need. The TIP 
statutory authority is Section 3012 of the America Creating 
Opportunities to Meaningfully Promote Excellence in Technology, 
Education, and Science (COMPETES) Act, Public Law 110-69 (August 9, 
2007), codified at 15 U.S.C. 278n. The TIP implementing regulations are 
published at 15 CFR Part 296. TIP holds competitions for funding based 
on addressing areas of critical national need. TIP identifies and 
selects topics for areas of critical national need based on input from 
within NIST, the TIP Advisory Board, the science and technology 
communities, and from the public. TIP is interested in receiving input 
on the identification and definition of problems that are sufficiently 
large in magnitude that they have the potential to inhibit the growth 
and well-being of our nation today.
    This announcement explains the process for submitting comments on 
TIP white papers. Comments on white papers from experts in other 
Federal agencies are also valued and welcome, and will enable TIP to 
complement the efforts of other mission agencies and avoid duplication 
of their efforts, thereby leveraging resources to benefit the nation. 
The key concepts enumerated below are the foundation of TIP and should 
assist all commenters in providing input that will help TIP develop and 
refine an effective white paper:
    a. An area of critical national need means an area that justifies 
government attention because the magnitude of the problem is large and 
the associated societal challenges that need to be overcome are not 
being addressed, but could be addressed through high-risk, high-reward 
research.
    b. A societal challenge is a problem or issue confronted by society 
that when not addressed could negatively affect the overall function 
and quality of life of the nation, and as such, justifies government 
attention. A societal challenge is associated with barriers preventing 
the successful development of solutions to the area of critical 
national need. TIP's purpose is to provide funding that will enable 
U.S. businesses and institutions of higher education or other 
organizations, such as national laboratories and nonprofit research 
institutions, to tackle technical issues that can be addressed through 
high-risk, high-reward research. The results of the high-risk, high-
reward research should have the potential for transformational results.
    c. A transformational result is a potential project outcome that 
enables disruptive changes over and above current methods and 
strategies. Transformational results have the potential to radically 
improve our understanding of systems and technologies, challenging the 
status quo of research approaches and applications.
    For an understanding of how these white papers were developed, and 
for detailed instructions on how to prepare and submit your own white 
papers to TIP, refer to A Guide for Preparing and

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Submitting White Papers on Areas of Critical National Need. The Guide 
is available on the TIP Web site at http://www.nist.gov/tip/wp/upload/guide_for_white_papers.pdf.
    In this call for comments on white papers, TIP is seeking 
information to further develop and refine the areas of critical 
national need that were the subject of prior TIP competitions as well 
as the topic areas under development for future TIP competitions. TIP 
may use comments received to further develop the definition and scope 
of the critical national needs suggested by these topic areas, and to 
additionally identify and explain specific societal challenges that 
require a technical solution within these critical national need areas. 
Do not include ideas for specific proposals in your comments on the 
white paper (i.e., do not discuss your specific solution to the 
problem). This solicitation for comments on white papers is neither a 
Request for Proposals (RFP) nor a request for pre-proposals. Rather, it 
is a way to include ideas from the public to identify problems that 
justify government support and that can be addressed by technological 
innovations that are not currently being sufficiently supported to meet 
the challenge.
    Comments on white papers must not contain proprietary information. 
Submission of comments on a white paper means that the author(s) agrees 
that all the information in the comments on the white paper can be made 
available to the public. Information contained in submitted comments 
will be considered and combined with information from other resources--
including the vision of the Administration, NIST, other government 
agencies, technical communities, the TIP Advisory Board, and other 
members of the public--to develop the scope of future competitions and 
to shape TIP's collaborative outreach. Comments on white papers are a 
valuable resource that adds to TIP's understanding of the significance 
and scope of critical national needs and associated societal 
challenges.
    This current call for comments pertains to the white papers that 
describe the areas of critical national need as described in the FY 
2010 TIP competition and the FY 2009 TIP competition, as well as four 
proposed critical national need topic areas, as described below.

FY 2010 Competition

    In the FY 2010 TIP competition, the topic of Manufacturing was 
identified as an area of critical national need. The topic area of 
Manufacturing, based on the white paper Manufacturing and 
Biomanufacturing: Materials Advances and Critical Processes, built on 
the two societal challenges addressed in the FY 2009 TIP competition, 
which was entitled Accelerating the Incorporation of Materials Advances 
into Manufacturing Processes, and included a third societal challenge 
for critical process advances in manufacturing and biomanufacturing. 
The focus of this competition was on the challenges associated with 
agile or intelligent manufacturing, sustainable manufacturing 
processes, specific manufacturing processes, specifically (1) process 
scale-up, integration, and design for materials advances; (2) 
predictive modeling for materials advances and materials processing; 
and (3) critical process advances. The white paper that was used in the 
FY 2010 TIP competition for the topic area of Manufacturing can be 
found at http://www.nist.gov/tip/wp/index.cfm.

FY 2009 Competition

    In the FY 2009 TIP competition, the topic area of Civil 
Infrastructure was identified as an area of critical national need. The 
topic area of Civil Infrastructure, based on the white paper Advanced 
Sensing Technologies and Advanced Repair Materials for Infrastructure: 
Water Systems, Dams, Levees, Bridges, Roads, and Highways, dated March 
2009, emphasized technologies to detect corrosion, cracking, 
delamination and other structural damage as well as repair/retrofit 
materials and technologies, in water resources systems such as water 
and wastewater pipelines, dams, levees and waterway locks, as well as 
bridges and roadways. The white paper that was used in the FY 2009 TIP 
competition for the topic area of Civil Infrastructure can be found at 
http://www.nist.gov/tip/wp/index.cfm.

Proposed Topic Areas

    Water: The proposed topic area within the critical national need of 
Water is based on the draft white paper, Water: New Technologies for 
Managing and Ensuring Future Water Availability, which outlines the 
technologies that will be required to lead to improved means for better 
managing the quality and quantity of delivered-water supplies and for 
protecting the public from waterborne disease sources. Better tools are 
required: for environmentally benign disposition of brines and waste 
streams from desalination and water reclamation projects; for low-cost 
methods for removal of emerging contaminants from wastewater streams 
and from water distribution systems; for resource recovery from 
wastewater; and for transformative improvements in the energy costs of 
producing water from non-freshwater sources. The draft white paper for 
the proposed topic of Water can be found at http://www.nist.gov/tip/wp/index.cfm.
    Advanced Robotics and Intelligent Automation: The proposed topic 
area Advanced Robotics and Intelligent Automation focuses on an area of 
critical national need in Manufacturing, it also potentially impacts 
other application areas such as healthcare and homeland security. The 
proposed Manufacturing topic Advanced Robotics and Intelligent 
Automation is a draft white paper that outlines infrastructural 
technologies that will be required for this industry to supply the next 
generation of solutions to manufacturers. Potential solutions that have 
been discussed include new techniques for manipulation and handling 
objects; new approaches for navigation in unstructured environments; 
new strategies for monitoring and controlling groups of robots; new 
technologies and approaches for the seamless integration of the various 
subsystems that make up a robot or intelligent automation system; new 
power and energy storage technology; new approaches to communication; 
and new methods for ensuring safe interactions between robots and 
humans. The draft white paper for the proposed topic of Advanced 
Robotics and Intelligent Automation can be found at http://www.nist.gov/tip/wp/index.cfm.
    Energy: The proposed topic area within the critical national need 
area of Energy is based on the draft white paper, Technologies to 
Enable a Smart Grid, which outlines the technologies that will be 
required to enable a reliable smart grid approach to electric power 
distribution, demand, and response control, grid connectivity, and the 
integration of renewable energy sources into the grid. The proposed 
topic aims to address research in energy storage systems and the 
integration of stored energy into the grid system, advanced sensors and 
their energy sources to be deployed along the grid, communication and 
control technologies (high voltage power electronics), and modeling. 
The draft white paper for the proposed topic of Energy can be found at 
http://www.nist.gov/tip/wp/index.cfm.
    Healthcare: The proposed topic area with the critical national need 
of Healthcare is based on the draft white paper Advanced Technologies 
for Proteomics, Data Integration and Analysis and Biomanufacturing for 
Personalized Medicine, which outlines

[[Page 66739]]

the platform technologies that will be needed to enable a personalized 
approach to safer and more cost-effective healthcare. The proposed 
topic specifically aims to address research needs for: non-invasively 
analyzing proteins in real-time in live tissues, animal models and 
humans; linking genomic, proteomic and other disparate datasets with 
patient-specific data to understand disease susceptibility and response 
to treatment; and cost-effective high-throughput biopharmaceutical 
manufacturing. The draft white paper for the proposed topic of 
Healthcare can be found at http://www.nist.gov/tip/wp/index.cfm.

    Dated: October 20, 2010.
Harry Hertz,
Director, Baldrige Performance Excellence Program.
[FR Doc. 2010-27449 Filed 10-28-10; 8:45 am]
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