AIM Higher Consortium Mini-Grants

Funding Availability, Program Eligibility

Funding Availability

Applicants may request a grant up to 50% of the total advanced manufacturing technology project cost from a minimum of $1,000 up to a maximum of $5,000. Awards will be made on a first come, first served basis with priority given to first time applicants. Mini-grant dollars may be used to support direct, project-related consulting costs, contracted services, software purchases, supplies, and one-time costs related to the implementation of advanced manufacturing technology cost.

Mini-Grant Eligibility

Applicants requesting mini-grant assistance through the AIM Higher Mini-grant program must meet all of the criteria listed below to be eligible for funding consideration:

  • Must confirm status as a current DoD supplier or be actively pursuing work in the DoD supply chain.
  • Be a privately held small to medium sized manufacturer located within the 12 eligible counties of Pennsylvania or the entire state of West Virginia. (Small-medium sized manufacturers are defined as those having less than 500 employees per location, and registered in D&B with a NAICS code beginning with 31-33 or one of these manufacturing-related NAICS codes: 423510, 488991, 541330, 541380, 541711, 541712, 541713, 541714, 541715, 561910, 811310).
  • Have a clearly defined and ready advanced technology or improvement project which aligns with the recommendations resulting from the technical assessment and assistance process.
  • Provide at least a 50% match to total project cost. Applicants must be able to cover the total project costs until grant reimbursement is issued. Grant reimbursement requires an invoice accompanied by proof of payment documentation equivalent to the total project costs including match. Vendor invoices with corresponding cancelled checks documenting payment are required for reimbursement.
  • Initiate the project no earlier than December 1, 2020 and complete implementation with company payment of the total project costs by July 31, 2022
  • Participate in post-award surveying (currently an annual MEP Client Questionnaire) to collect information on project status, economic impacts, and other information as requested.
  • The complete guidelines for the AIM Higher Mini-Grants can be found in this document.

Grant funds are for the implementation of Advanced Manufacturing Technology (AMT) or improvement processes leading to increased competitiveness in the defense manufacturing sectors.. AMT is the use of new process/materials to do things faster, cheaper and with higher quality results.  Eligible projects can include technologies for continuous improvement and leveraging access to high-speed internet or other technologies to reach new customers or markets, receive orders, collaborate on new designs, share information, track orders, and/or monitor equipment and productivity.  It can also include technologies to manage business risks such as cybersecurity as well as disruptive technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, or additive manufacturing.

The following are examples of the types of projects which are not eligible for grant funding:

  • Projects limited to the purchase of equipment (items with a value > $5,000 and a useful life of longer than one year).
  • Purchase of marketing/advertising and/or relocation services.

If you interested in learning more and to confirm your eligibility, contact us today!