OIT Times: States' Options for NICE3 Participation Broadened
January 2, 2002
by Lisa Barnett
Program Manager, NICE3
OIT National Industrial Competitiveness through Energy, Environment, and Economics (NICE3) program provides funding to state-industry partnerships for projects that demonstrate advances in energy efficiency and clean production. State-industry partnerships can get one-time Federal grants of up to $525,000 with the industrial partner receiving up to $500,000.
In the past, industrial applicants were required to submit NICE3 grant proposals through a state energy, pollution prevention, or business development office. While State Energy Offices assisted local applicants with their proposals, resource constraints prevented many states from helping firms produce high-quality proposals.
So last year after discussions with states on ways to improve NICE3, we decided to allow states more ways to participate in the NICE3 program. Some states have continued to work closely with local firms on their grant proposals while others have allowed local firms to submit directly to DOE with only the state endorsement. Lynn Stoddard, the NICE3 representative from Connecticut, said e favor flexibility in allowing different approaches to the statesinvolvement with NICE3. However, we feel our involvement in the process has significant value for the industrial proposer and DOE.br>
Recent NICE3 proposals have been split about 0-50between direct submissions by industry (with state endorsement) and state office submissions. Our new program direction allows states greater flexibility to meet the needs of local firms while simultaneously maintaining state involvement in NICE3 proposals and awards.