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NIST seeks proposals for innovative technologies research 

TIP proposers' conferences begin next week

BELLINGHAM, WA, USA - 10 July 2008 - The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) announced yesterday it is seeking proposals for high-risk research projects to develop innovative technologies for inspecting, monitoring, and evaluating critical components of the nation's roadways, bridges, and drinking and wastewater systems.

The competition for cost-shared R&D support is the first to be announced by NIST's newly established Technology Innovation Program (TIP). The merit-based program will award first-year funding for R&D projects focused on new, efficient, accurate, low-cost, reliable sensors, and related technologies that provide quantitative assessments of the structural integrity or degree of deterioration. Complete information is at nist.gov/tip/.

"As a society we stand atop what most authorities believe is an increasingly shaky platform of aging transportation and public utility systems, including roadways, bridges, and water and wastewater pipelines," said TIP Director Marc Stanley. "It's estimated, for example, that nationwide we lose about 15 percent of our treated drinking water to leaky pipelines, and a major bridge collapse in Minneapolis last year that took 13 lives is a sobering reminder that infrastructure failures can cost far more than just money."

TIP was established by the 2007 America COMPETES Act to support, promote and accelerate innovation in the United States through high-risk, high-reward research in areas of critical national need. Small-sized and medium-sized businesses, institutions of higher education, non-profit research organizations, and national laboratories are eligible for TIP support, with some restrictions. TIP awards are limited to no more than $3 million total over three years for a single company project and no more than $9 million total over five years for a joint venture.

Proposals must be received by NIST by 3 p.m. EDT on 4 September 2008. Proposers may submit proposals by paper or electronically through grants.gov/. Review, selection, and award processing is expected to be completed by the end of November.

TIP is holding public meetings (proposers' conferences) at several locations around the country to provide general information regarding TIP, guidance on preparing proposals, and the opportunity for questions and answers. Same-day registration is allowed at these meetings:

16 July: St. Louis, MO, and Houston, TX

17 July: Atlanta, GA, and Portland, OR

18 July: San Jose, CA

21 July: Boston, MA.

Pre-registration by 5 p.m. EDT on 16 July is required for a proposers' conference on 22 July at the NIST headquarters. Pre-register at nist.gov/public_affairs/confpage/080722.htm. No on-site registrations will be accepted. Photo identification must be presented at the NIST main gate.