Ideas sought to improve Illinois manufacturing

IMEC logoHave an idea for a short-term project with the potential to improve the state of manufacturing in Illinois?

NIU’s Division of Research and Graduate Studies invites faculty and staff to submit such proposals to the Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center (IMEC), which since 1996 has helped more than 2,500 Illinois manufacturing companies to achieve more than $1.5 billion in productivity, profit and cost savings improvements.

Funds are available as part of IMEC’s work with the U.S. Department of Commerce NIST Manufacturing Extension Partnership. Typical awards will not exceed $50,000.

The proposal submission deadline is Friday, Nov. 22.

IMEC delivers hands‐on technical assistance and strategic advisement to help small and mid‐sized manufacturers to be more productive and globally competitive. Center staff are particularly interested in projects that address the incorporation of instructional technologies into IMEC’s outreach materials for enhanced interactions with its manufacturing constituency.

MADE IN IL logoHowever, a wide variety of projects will be considered for funding, including:

  • those that improve a specific manufacturer’s operations;
  • educational events targeted at manufacturers to inform and promote improvements; and
  • research projects which help identify trends or new technologies in manufacturing.

Applications should consist of one-page project narratives that align with IMEC’s stated mission, timelines for completing the proposed projects and line‐item budgets outlining IMEC request and NIU match contribution.

Facilities and Administrative costs will be applied at the rate of 7.9 percent of modified total direct costs. The IMEC awards will consist of federal funds and must be matched 2 to 1. This match can be in the form of cash contribution (staff salaries) or in‐kind contribution (unrecovered F&A). The difference between the recovered 7.9 percent and NIU’s full federally negotiated rate qualifies as unrecovered F&A. Contact the NIU Office of Sponsored Projects to discuss cost‐share requirements.

IMEC will review applications and provide initial notification to awardees within 15 business days after receipt of proposals. Upon approval from the U.S. Department of Commerce, IMEC will then establish an award agreement with NIU outlining the terms of the award, including project deliverables.

For more information, contact Kristin Duffy at (815) 753-9275 or kduffy@niu.edu.

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