As part of the Program, the Secretary shall establish a network of centers for manufacturing innovation.
The National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute and other manufacturing centers formally recognized as manufacturing innovation centers pursuant to Federal law or executive actions, or under pending interagency review for such recognition as of December 16, 2014, shall be considered centers for manufacturing innovation, but such centers shall not receive any financial assistance under subsection (d).
A manufacturing center that is substantially similar to those established under this subsection but that does not receive financial assistance under subsection (d) may, upon request of the center, be recognized as a center for manufacturing innovation by the Secretary for purposes of participation in the Network.
A person or group of persons seeking financial assistance under paragraph (1) shall submit to the Secretary an application therefor at such time, in such manner, and containing such information as the Secretary may require. The application shall, at a minimum, describe the specific sources and amounts of non-Federal financial support for the center on the date financial assistance is sought, as well as the anticipated sources and amounts of non-Federal financial support during the period for which the center could be eligible for continued Federal financial assistance under this section.
In soliciting applications for financial assistance under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall ensure an open process that will allow for the consideration of all applications relevant to advanced manufacturing regardless of technology area.
In awarding financial assistance under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall use a competitive, merit review process that includes peer review by a diverse group of individuals with relevant expertise from both the private and public sectors.
No political appointee may participate on a peer review panel. The Secretary shall implement a conflict of interest policy that ensures public transparency and accountability, and requires full disclosure of any real or potential conflicts of interest on the parts of individuals that participate in the merit selection process.
In awarding financial assistance under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall, acting through the National Program Office established under subsection (f)(1), collaborate with Federal departments and agencies whose missions contribute to or are affected by advanced manufacturing.
No award of financial assistance may be made under paragraph (1) to a center of manufacturing innovation after the 7-year period beginning on the date on which the Secretary first awards financial assistance to that center under that paragraph.
The total Federal financial assistance awarded to a center of manufacturing innovation, including the financial assistance under paragraph (1), in a given year shall not exceed 50 percent of the total funding of the center in that year, except that the Secretary may make an exception in the case of large capital facilities or equipment purchases. The Secretary shall give weighted preference to applicants seeking less than the maximum Federal share of funds allowed under this paragraph.
Except as provided in paragraph (2), no funds are authorized to be appropriated by the Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation Act of 2014 for carrying out this section.
To the extent provided for in advance by appropriations Acts, the Secretary may use not to exceed $5,000,000 for each of the fiscal years 2015 through 2024 to carry out this section from amounts appropriated to the Institute for Industrial Technical Services.
To the extent provided for in advance by appropriations Acts, the Secretary of Energy may transfer to the Institute not to exceed $250,000,000 for the period encompassing fiscal years 2015 through 2024 for the Secretary to carry out this section from amounts appropriated for advanced manufacturing research and development within the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy account for the Department of Energy.
In developing and updating the strategic plan under paragraph (2)(C), the Secretary shall solicit recommendations and advice from a wide range of stakeholders, including industry, small and medium-sized manufacturing enterprises, research universities, community colleges, and other relevant organizations and institutions on an ongoing basis.
The Secretary shall require each recipient of financial assistance under subsection (d)(1) to annually submit a report to the Secretary that describes the finances and performance of the center for manufacturing innovation for which such assistance was awarded.
Not less frequently than once each year until December 31, 2024, the Secretary shall submit a report to Congress that describes the performance of the Program during the most recent 1-year period.
Not less frequently than once every 2 years, the Comptroller General shall submit to Congress an assessment of the operation of the Program during the most recent 2-year period.
Not later than December 31, 2024, the Comptroller General shall submit to Congress a final report regarding the overall success of the Program.
The Secretary may appoint such personnel and enter into such contracts, financial assistance agreements, and other agreements as the Secretary considers necessary or appropriate to carry out the Program, including support for research and development activities involving a center for manufacturing innovation.
Of amounts available under the authority provided by subsection (e), the Secretary may transfer to other Federal agencies such sums as the Secretary considers necessary or appropriate to carry out the Program. No funds so transferred may be used to reimburse or otherwise pay for the costs of financial assistance incurred or commitments of financial assistance made prior to December 16, 2014.
In the event that the Secretary exercises the authority to transfer funds to another agency under paragraph (2), such agency may accept such funds to award and administer, under the same conditions and constraints applicable to the Secretary, all aspects of financial assistance awards under this section.
In furtherance of the purposes of the Program, the Secretary may use, with the consent of a covered entity and with or without reimbursement, the land, services, equipment, personnel, and facilities of such covered entity.
In addition to amounts appropriated to carry out the Program, the Secretary may accept funds, services, equipment, personnel, and facilities from any covered entity to carry out the Program, subject to the same conditions and constraints otherwise applicable to the Secretary under this section and such funds may only be obligated to the extent provided for in advance by appropriations Acts.
For purposes of this subsection, a covered entity is any Federal department, Federal agency, instrumentality of the United States, State,local government, tribal government, territory, or possession of the United States, or of any political subdivision thereof, or international organization, or any public or private entity or individual.
Chapter 18 of title 35 shall apply to any funding agreement (as defined in section 201 of that title) awarded to new or existing centers for manufacturing innovation.