PATH/NIST Technology Research Grants

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National Institute of Standards and Technology

The Partnership for Advancing Technology in Housing, in conjunction with the National Institute of Standards and Technology, is seeking proposals from industry for research projects with potential of producing products within 18 months for site-built, factory-built, and manufactured housing as well as for the upgrade of existing homes.

NIST will select and administer the technology development effort called the Partnership for Advancing Technologies in Housing Cooperative Research Program (PATH-CoRP). PATH, a White House public/private initiative to integrate new housing technologies into the housing and construction industry, will fund up to 70 percent of the projects. PATH is providing $1 million for the PATH-CoRP. Private sector applicants must commit to cost-share expenditures of at least 30 percent of the total proposed project value. At least 20 percent of the proposed cost share must be in cash. NIST expects to award approximately five to 10 of the cooperative agreements, ranging from $50,000 to $200,000 each.

“New technologies can revolutionize the American housing industry,” said William C. Apgar, Assistant Secretary for Housing/Federal Housing Commissioner, Department of Housing and Urban Development. “The private sector can drive critical changes in housing components, systems, designs and production methods. PATH-CoRP will jump start great private sector ideas and help move quality technologies quickly into the marketplace,” he said.

PATH-CoRP proposals must address at least one of the following seven PATH areas of interest: (1) labor-saving processes for housing construction cycle-time; (2) enhanced worker safety and simplified construction processes; (3) advanced materials and systems for structural integrity; (4) advanced and innovative housing foundation systems for all types of soil conditions; (5) advanced materials and systems for the building envelope to control moisture in walls or to control infestation by termites and other insects; (6) new or innovative methods incorporating traditional exterior finishes with advanced framing systems; and (7) advanced materials and systems for interior finishes (ceilings, walls, built-in equipment) and advanced materials and systems for home function and operation.

In addition, all proposals must address PATH’s first goal which is to reduce the monthly cost of new housing by 20 percent or more. The proposals also must support at least one additional PATH goal. By 2010 PATH is to decrease the environmental impact of and energy use of new housing by 50 percent or more and reduce the energy use in at least 15 million existing homes by 30 percent or more; improve durability and reduce maintenance costs by 50 percent; diminish by at least 10 percent the risk of loss of life, injury, and property destruction from natural hazards and to reduce by at least 20 percent residential construction work illnesses and injuries.

The PATH CoRP program is open for participation by for-profit or non-profit industry organizations and industry-led team of organizations. Although teams are encouraged, only a single industry organization, the project administrator, can submit an application. Team members may include universities, state and local governments and/or Federal government laboratories.

Deadline for PATH-CoRP proposals is February 7, 2000. A NIST panel of three independent reviewers, selected for technical expertise in the research area covered by the proposal, will review each entry. The panel will evaluate all proposals and make recommendations to the director of NIST Building and Fire Research Laboratory. The director’s selections will, in turn, be approved by the NIST Grants Officer for compliance with all requirements as well as selected organization’s ability to fulfill terms of the work.

PATH is administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. In addition to HUD, federal agencies participating in PATH include U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Energy, Labor and Transportation, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Federal Housing Finance Board, and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Private sector members include leaders of the home building, product manufacturing, insurance, and financial industries.

NIST, as a non-regulatory agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Technology Administration, promotes economic growth by working with industry to develop and apply technology, measurements and standards through four partnerships: the Measurement and Standards Laboratories, the Advanced Technology Program, the Manufacturing Extension Partnership and the Baldrige National Quality Program.

Applicants can submit technical questions to:
Steve Cauffman
NIST, Building and Fire Research Laboratory, Structures Division
100 Bureau Drive, STOP 8611
Gaithersburg, Maryland 20899-8610
Telephone: 301-975-6051

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