The term “eligible entity” means a United States-based nonprofit institution, or consortium thereof, an institution of higher education, or a State, United States territory, local, or tribal government.
The Secretary may not provide more than 50 percent of the capital and annual operating and maintenance funds required to establish and support a Center.
An eligible entity shall submit an application to the Secretary at such time, in such manner, and containing such information as the Secretary may require.
To be considered for financial assistance under this section, an applicant shall provide adequate assurances that the applicant and if applicable, the applicant’s partnering organizations, will obtain funding for not less than 50 percent of the capital and annual operating and maintenance funds required to establish and support the Center from sources other than the financial assistance provided under subsection (e).
Each applicant shall include in the application a proposal for the allocation of the legal rights associated with any intellectual property which may result from the activities of the Center.
The Secretary shall ensure that each Center is evaluated during its third and eighth years of operation by an evaluation panel appointed by the Secretary.
The Secretary may continue to provide financial assistance under subsection (e) for a Center during the probation period.
After the period of probation, the Secretary shall not provide any financial assistance unless the Center has received a positive evaluation under subparagraph (B)(iii).
An eligible entity that has received financial assistance under this section for a period of 10 consecutive years and that the Secretary determines is in good standing shall be eligible to compete in the competition under paragraph (1).
Not later than 180 days after January 6, 2017, the Secretary shall implement and submit to Congress a plan for how the Institute will conduct an evaluation, competition, and reapplication competition under this section.
The Director shall establish appropriate standards for each board described under paragraph (1).
In establishing the standards, the Director shall take into account the type and organizational structure of an eligible entity.
Each board established under paragraph (1) shall adopt and submit to the Director bylaws to govern the operation of the board.
In addition to such sums as may be appropriated to the Secretary and Director to operate the Program, the Secretary and Director may also accept funds from other Federal departments and agencies and from the private sector under section 272(c)(7) of this title, to be available to the extent provided by appropriations Acts, for the purpose of strengthening United States manufacturing.
There is established within the Institute a Manufacturing Extension Partnership Advisory Board.
The MEP Advisory Board shall consist of not fewer than 10 members appointed by the Director and broadly representative of stakeholders.
No member of the MEP Advisory Board shall be an employee of the Federal Government.
Except as provided in subparagraph (C), the term of office of each member of the MEP Advisory Board shall be 3 years.
Any member appointed to fill a vacancy occurring prior to the expiration of the term for which his predecessor was appointed shall be appointed for the remainder of such term.
Any person who has completed 2 consecutive full terms of service on the MEP Advisory Board shall thereafter be ineligible for appointment during the 1-year period following the expiration of the second such term.
As part of the Program, the Secretary shall develop open access resources that address best practices related to inventory sourcing, supply chain management, manufacturing techniques, available Federal resources, and other topics to further the competitiveness and profitability of small manufacturers.