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Department of Defense: Defense Manufacturing Communities Support Program

Deadline: June 15, 2021

The Defense Manufacturing Communities Support Program notice presents an opportunity to obtain Defense Manufacturing Community designation and funding under the Defense Manufacturing Community Support Program for Fiscal Year 2021. The current notice outlines the first of a two-step process to potentially receive funding under this program. First, regional consortia will compete to receive designation as a Defense Manufacturing Community. The second step (invitation to submit a grant application for funding) is separate from this notice and instructions will be provided to the most competitive consortia designated as Defense Manufacturing communities.

The Defense Manufacturing Communities Support Program is designed to undertake long-term investments in critical skills, facilities, research and development, and small business support in order to strengthen the national security innovation and manufacturing base. The program also seeks to ensure complementarity of those communities so designated with existing Defense Manufacturing Institutes. Defense Manufacturing Institutes are manufacturing ecosystems established since 2014, with common manufacturing and design challenges revolving around specific technologies. To date, the Department of Defense has established nine (9) Manufacturing Institutes – https://defenseinnovationmarketplace.dtic.mil/business-opportunities/manufacturing-usa-institutes/. (For complete roster of all existing manufacturing institutes, see link at https://www.manufacturingusa.com/institutes.)

The Defense Manufacturing Community Support Program is designed to recognize communities that demonstrate best practices in attracting and expanding defense manufacturing. Best practices include bringing together key local stakeholders and using long-term planning that integrates targeted public and private investments across a community’s entire defense industrial ecosystem. Interactions within and between these elements can create assets upon which many firms can draw. While such assets are fundamental in promoting defense sector development, many are otherwise not adequately addressed by the private sector alone. Thus, well-designed public investment is crucial to building a self-sustaining ecosystem that attracts private investment from new and existing manufacturers and leads to a broad-based increase in manufacturing resilience and regional prosperity across the sector, the region and the nation.

Proposers may include descriptions of the following types of activities and investments (to include equipment or facility upgrades):
• Workforce training, retraining, or recruitment and retention, including that of women and underrepresented minorities
• Business incubators
• Advanced research and commercialization, including with Federal laboratories and depots
• Supply chain development
• Small business assistance

Amount: $25,000,000 is available to make awards that range up to $5,000,000.
A 20% match is required.

Eligibility: Proposals must be submitted by a “Lead Organization” on behalf of a regional manufacturing consortium. A “Lead Organization” will exhibit the following characteristics:
• An established entity with a defined management structure, and the authority to bind the
regional manufacturing consortium to deliver the proposed strategy;
• Is recognized as such by key partners and stakeholders in a formal way; and
• Must be one of the following entities: 1) Institution of higher education or a consortium of higher education institutions; 2) Public or private non-profit consortium of defense industries; or 3) State, local or tribal government organization.

Additionally, the consortium:
• May be composed of members from academia, defense industry, Federal laboratories,
commercial industry, defense manufacturing institutes, and State and local government
• Must demonstrate regional collaboration capabilities and technological or industrial base
supply chains that are determined critical to national security, and;
• Must demonstrate complementarity with defense manufacturing institutes.

Geographic scope: In general, an applicant’s region should be large enough to contain critical elements of the key Defense technologies or supply chains prioritized by the applicant, but small enough to enable close collaboration (e.g., generally, larger than a city but smaller than a state). The proposed Defense Manufacturing Community should identify and provide evidence that their service area ranks high in the nation for the colocation of specific key defense manufacturing technologies or supply chains. The proposer should be able to indicate a top third national ranking in the proposer’s region with regard to key defense manufacturing technologies or supply chains.

Link: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=332164

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