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Quick Start Project Call

The proposal deadline for Quick Start Projects has passed. Thank you to all of those who submitted a proposal. Please check back for details on our first full project call, expected this Fall.

NIIMBL is pleased to announce the Quick Start Project (QSP) call.

The QSP call solicits proposals for open topic, industry-wide projects focused on the NIIMBL mission of advancing biopharmaceutical manufacturing.

Proposal Submission Process

Details regarding the proposal submission process and required documents can be found in Section 6 of the RFP document. Please keep the following information in mind as you prepare a proposal:

  • Proposal teams are required to send a Notice of Intent to by Friday, August 4, 2017 at 5:00 PM EDT.
  • Only NIIMBL members may participate on proposal project teams. Organizations must provide a signed Membership Agreement by August 4, 2017 to submit a proposal.
  • Only complete proposal packages will be considered.
  • All proposal documents are due by 5:00 PM EDT on Friday, August 11, 2017. Late proposals will NOT be considered.


QSP Call Schedule
June 30, 2017 Quick Start Project (QSP) Request for Proposal (RFP) released
August 4, 2017 Notice of Intent due
August 11, 2017 QSP proposals due
August 30, 2017 Initial review of applications completed
September 18, 2017 Earliest possible QSP start date


QSP Request for Proposal (RFP) (last updated 13 Jul 2017)

Budget Template

Proposal Cover Sheet

Abstract Template

Quad Chart Template

QSP Proposal Submission Instructions


  1. Does an organization need to be a NIIMBL member to submit a proposal?

    Yes, only proposals from NIIMBL members, and involving NIIMBL members, will be considered.

  2. What documents are required for proposals?

    Section 6 of the RFP outlines the proposal requirements.

  3. What are the requirements for proposal teams?

    NIIMBL encourages a collaborative effort on project proposals. All proposal teams must include one small-to-medium enterprise (SME).

  4. When are proposals due?

    A non-binding Notice of Intent is required by Friday, August 4, 2017 at 5:00 PM EDT. Final proposals are due on Friday, August 11, 2017 by 5:00 PM EDT. Late proposals will not be considered.

  5. How long is the proposal review process?

    NIIMBL anticipates the proposal review period will last approximately 4 weeks.

  6. When will projects begin?

    The earliest possible start date is September 18. But the actual project start date will depend on project award agreement negotiations.

  7. What is the review / award process?

    The proposal evaluation process is outlined in detail in section 7 of the RFP. Points will be awarded for project significance, technical merit, potential for impact, and team expertise.

  8. What types of project does NIIMBL plan to fund?

    NIIMBL plans to fund Institute-Wide projects only. Generally, these are projects that address industry-wide needs and challenges. This QSP call solicits proposals in any area of biopharmaceutical manufacturing that fulfills the NIIMBL mission. To assist teams in the proposal development process, NIIMBL has developed a table of potential project ideas based on extensive conversations with and surveys of various stakeholder groups. This list should be used as a guide only. It is not intended to limit proposal topic areas.

  9. Can organizations or individuals that are not members of NIIMBL participate in NIIMBL projects?

    All participants and organizations must be members of NIIMBL. Information flow and funding is restricted to NIIMBL members only per the Membership Agreement and Bylaws.

  10. Are Tier 3 Industry Members (aka SMEs) required for participation on projects that involve workforce development only?

    No. Each proposed project that involves technology development / advancement is required to have at least one Tier 3 Industry participant. Projects that address workforce development only are not required to have a Tier 3 Industry participant, although that is encouraged. A revised RFP was published on July 12, 2017 to clarify this information.

  11. I have a good idea and am looking for partners, but do not believe there is enough time to assemble the team and develop a proposal by the August 11 deadline. Any advice?

    Yes. The first full Project Call, to be launched in the Fall of 2017, will be a much larger project call with more funding and project launches expected, whereas this initial QSP call is small and limited. Consider working out the details of your team and project and submitting in response to the first Project Call. Note that NIIMBL anticipates Project Calls to be issued at least every 6 months moving forward so teams can take their time to develop their concepts to the fullest. Keep in mind that NIIMBL funds projects in the MRL 4-7 space.

  12. How should proposal submissions reflect cost-share dollars from states?

    If a member of a proposal team plans to use state funding as cost-share, the proposal must complete a separate budget for the state funding using the budget template provided at, as well as a separate budget justification.

  13. Will there be a webinar on the Quick Start Project call submission process?

    We plan to host a webinar to discuss the Quick Start Project proposal process. The webinar date and time will be announced soon. It will discuss the technical and workforce development areas of interest, provide an overview of the proposal preparation and submission process, and highlight proposal requirements. It will not discuss specific technical or workforce project ideas.

  14. Are proposals involving human subject research permitted?

    No human or animal studies may be proposed as part of the QSP call. We encourage teams to hold proposals involving human subject or vertebrate animals for the first full project call, expected in fall 2017. Please see section 5 of the QSP RFP for more details.

  15. What if I cannot find an SME that works in the area of my proposal?

    Proposals that involve technology development / advancement require at least one SME to be considered. Projects that address workforce development only do not require an SME, although it is encouraged.


Table of project ideas (Please note this list should serve only to guide thinking and is not intended to be a list of priorities or limit proposals in any way. Quick Start proposals addressing other technology or workforce development areas which align with the NIIMBL mission are encouraged.)

Technical Needs Survey Results

Education / Workforce Development Needs Survey Results

Manufacturing Readiness Level (MRL) Definitions (NIIMBL technical development projects will be in MRL 4-7.)

Workshops & Teaming Events

A series of events are scheduled to take place in support of the QSP call. Registration is required to attend.

  • Thursday, July 20, 2017 – Teaming Event in San Francisco, CA (NIIMBL members only)
  • Friday, July 21, 2017 – QSP Information Webinar (Open to current and potential NIIMBL members interested in QSP)
  • Tuesday, July 25, 2017 – Teaming Event in Raleigh, North Carolina (NIIMBL members only)

Invitations were sent via email to NIIMBL members. If you are interested in attending, please contact us at for registration information.


If you have any questions regarding the Quick Start Project or proposal process, please email us at

Click here for a printable PDF of the table below.

Copyright 2017 NIIMBL. All rights reserved.

Department of Commerce National Institute of Standards and Technology Manufacturing USA USA Bio