Industry Tools: Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP)
The Manufacturers Extension Partnership ("MEP") and Innovation Accelerator Challenge is a partnership between the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (“NIST”), the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration, the U.S. Small Business Administration, and the National Science Foundation.
The NIST/MEP defines their purpose: “to work with small and mid-sized U.S. manufacturers to help them create and retain jobs, increase profits, and save time and money." Increasing the capacity for innovation is strongly emphasized. The nationwide network provides a variety of services, from innovation strategies to process improvements to green manufacturing. MEP also works with partners at the state and federal levels on programs that put manufacturers in position to develop new customers as well as expand into new markets and create new products.
In New York State, information about available MEP resources may be obtained through the NYS Regional Economic Development Centers. These Centers offer MEP information and resources to assist entrepreneurs seeking to commercialize new technology. The new Solutions Fairs organized by the CEG have offered another way to match those seeking help with those seeking solutions.