15 CFR 918.5 - Eligibility, qualifications, and responsibilities—Sea Grant Regional Consortia.
(a) To be eligible for designation as a Sea Grant Regional Consortium, the candidate association or alliance of organizations must provide, in significant breadth and quality, one or more services in the areas of research, education, and training, or advisory service in fields related to ocean, Great Lakes, and coastal resources. Further, it is essential that the candidate Sea Grant Consortium be required to provide all three services as soon as possible after designation. Further, such association or alliance must demonstrate that:
(1) It has been established for the purpose of sharing expertise, research, educational facilities, or training facilities, and other capabilities in order to facilitate research, education, training, and advisory services in any field related to ocean, Great Lakes, and coastal resources; and
(2) It will encourage and follow a regional multi-State approach to solving problems or meeting needs relating to ocean, Great Lakes, and coastal resources, in cooperation with appropriate Sea Grant Colleges, Sea Grant Programs and other persons in the region.
(b) Although it is recognized that the distribution of effort between research, education, training, and advisory services to achieve appropriate balance in a Sea Grant Regional Consortium may differ from a Sea Grant College, sustained effort in all of these areas is, nonetheless, an essential requirement for retention of such designation. To be eligible for designation as a Sea Grant Regional Consortium, the candidate association or alliance of organizations must meet the qualifications set forth above as evaluated by a site review team composed of members of the Sea Grant Review Panel, the Office of Sea Grant, and other experts. Further, the candidate must be rated highly in all of the following qualifying areas which are pertinent to the Consortium's program:
(1) Leadership. The Sea Grant Regional Consortium candidate must have achieved recognition as an intellectual and practical leader in marine science, engineering, education, and advisory service in its region.
(2) Organization. The Sea Grant Regional Consortium candidate must have created the management organization to carry on a viable and productive multidisciplinary Sea Grant Program and have the backing of the administrations of its component organizations at a sufficiently high level to fulfill its multidisciplinary and multifaceted mandate.
(3) Relevance. The Sea Grant Regional Consortium candidate's Sea Grant Program must be relevant to regional opportunities and problems in the marine environment. Important factors in evaluating relevance are the extent and depth of the need of a region for a focused marine resource emphasis and the degree to which the candidate has developed its capability to be responsive to that need.
(4) Education and training. Education and training must be clearly relevant to regional needs and must be of high quality in fields related to ocean, Great Lakes, and coastal resources. As appropriate, education may include precollege, college, post-graduate, public and adult levels.
(5) Advisory services. The Sea Grant Regional Consortium candidate must have a strong program through which information techniques, and research results from any reliable source, domestic or international, may be communicated to and utilized by user communities. In addition to the educational and information dissemination role, the advisory service program must aid in the identification and communication of user communities' research and educational needs.
(6) Relationships. The Sea Grant Regional Consortium candidate must have close ties with federal agencies, state agencies and administrations, regional authorities, regional business and industry, and other regional educational institutions. These regional ties are: (i) To ensure the relevance of programs, (ii) to generate requests for such assistance as the consortium may offer, and (iii) to assist others in developing research and management competence. The extent and quality of a candidate's relationships are critical factors in evaluating the proposed designation.
(7) Productivity. The Sea Grant Regional Consortium candidate must have demonstrated a degree of productivity (of research results, reports, employed students, service to regional agencies, industry, etc.) commensurate with the length of its Sea Grant operations and the level of funding under which it has worked.
(8) Support. The Sea Grant Regional Consortium candidate must have the ability to obtain matching funds from non-Federal sources, such as State legislatures, university management, State agencies, and business and industry. A diversity of matching funds sources is encouraged as a sign of program vitality and the ability to meet the Sea Grant requirement that funds for the general programs be matched with at least one non-Federal dollar for every two Federal dollars.
(c) Finally, it must be found that the Sea Grant Regional Consortium candidate will act in accordance with the following standards relating to its continuing responsibilities as a Sea Grant Regional Consortium:
(1) Continue pursuit of excellence and high performance in marine research education, training, and advisory services.
(2) Provide regional leadership in marine activities including coordinated planning and cooperative work with local, State, regional, and Federal agencies, other Sea Grant Programs, and non-Sea Grant organizations.
(3) Maintain an effective management framework and application of organizational resources to the achievement of Sea Grant objectives.
(4) Develop and implement long-term plans for research, education, training, and advisory services consistent with Sea Grant goals and objectives.
(5) Advocate and further the Sea Grant concept and the full development of its potential within the consortium and the region.
(6) Provide adequate and stable matching financial support for the program from non-Federal sources.
(7) Establish and operate an effective system to control the quality of its Sea Grant program.