Advanced Tissue Biofabrication Manufacturing Innovation Institute (ATB-MII)

Funding Agency:
Department of Defense

This FOA is to solicit proposals to initiate and sustain an Advanced Tissue Biofabrication MII (ATB-MII) as part of the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI).  The DOD to date has awarded six institutes (1) “America Makes – National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute” in 2012; (2) Lightweight and Modern Metals and  (3) Digital Manufacturing and Design in February 2014; (4) Integrated Photonics MII, now referred to as AIM Photonics in July 2015; (5) Flexible Hybrid Electronics, now referred to as NextFlex in August 2015, and (6) Revolutionary Fibers and Textiles, now referred to as the Advanced Functional Fabrics Of America (AFFOA) in April 2016.  This FOA is for one of two planned FY17 DoD-led Institutes; the ATB-MII is the seventh DoD-led Manufacturing Innovation Institute.  The eighth DoD-led Manufacturing Innovation Institute will be announced under a separate FOA.

These Manufacturing Innovation Institutes (MII) bring together industry, institutions of higher education (four- and two-year universities, community colleges, technical institutes, etc.), and federal and state agencies to accelerate innovation by investing in industrially relevant manufacturing technologies with broad applications. These MIIs help bridge the gap between basic/early research and product development by developing and scaling critical technologies in the manufacturing readiness level 4 to 7 ranges.  These MIIs are to provide shared assets to help companies – particularly small manufacturers – access cutting-edge capabilities and equipment, creating an unparalleled environment to educate and train students and workers in advanced manufacturing skills. Each Institute is to have a specific technical or market focus, serving as a regional hub of manufacturing excellence, providing the critical infrastructure necessary to create a dynamic, highly collaborative environment spurring manufacturing technology innovations and technology transfer leading to production scale-up and commercialization. When established, each MII will be a public–private partnership and a key part of the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI) network of institutes.

The application process under this FOA consists of a Concept Paper stage and a Proposal stage. The purpose of requesting a Concept Paper is to minimize the effort associated with the production of a detailed Proposal for an Applicant that has little chance of being selected for funding. The Government’s decision to invite a Proposal will be based upon the evaluation results of a timely and compliant Concept Paper submission. Only the most highly rated Concept Papers will receive an invitation from the Government to submit a Proposal. An Applicant that does NOT submit a timely and compliant Concept Paper, is NOT eligible to submit a Proposal for consideration for funding.  An Applicant that does NOT receive an invitation from the Government to submit a Proposal is NOT eligible to submit a Proposal and will NOT receive any feedback or a “debriefing” on their Concept Paper. An Applicant invited to submit a Proposal will receive feedback on their Concept Paper that is expected to substantially improve their Proposal submissions.


  • Duke Internal Deadline: June 24, 2016
  • First Step: Concept Paper Due Date and Time:  The deadline for receipt of a Concept Paper is no later than 3:00 PM local Durham, NC time on Friday, 29 JULY 2016.  See Section IV for further information. 

  • Second Step:  Proposal Invitation:  Applicants with the most highly rated concept papers should expect to receive an invitation in mid-late AUGUST 2016 to submit a Proposal.  See Section IV for further information.  

Agency Website

Areas of Interest

Thrust Area 1:      Cell & Material Selection & Sourcing

Thrust Area 2:      Biofabrication Platforms

Thrust Area 3:      Process Design and Automation

Thrust Area 4:      Tissue Finishing and Testing Technologies

Eligibility Requirements

Eligibility to respond to this FOA is limited to U.S. non-profit organizations who will serve as the lead organization and recipient of the ATB-MII award.  The lead organization will propose a partnership that may include a cluster of businesses, manufacturing firms, institutions of higher education, associated institutes, or non-profit industry consortia.  Businesses of all sizes and structures are encouraged to participate as part of a teaming arrangement to capitalize on potential niche expertise. 

Amount Description

The Federal Government (DoD) anticipates funding $80 million ($80M) for this ATB-MII, distributed across seven fiscal years (FY 17-23).  It is likely that other federal government programs will seek to utilize or leverage the advanced manufacturing innovation ecosystem this MII will create and sustain.  The Recipient must provide a schedule that meets the minimum of $80M of non-federal funding  1:1 cost share by September 2021.  With this required cost-sharing, the minimum total program funding is $160M. A cost share ratio of more than 1:1 included and supported in a proposal to increase the capability of the ATB-MII will be considered favorably.  

Funding Type





Engineering and Physical Sciences
Environmental & Life Sciences

Internal Nomination

Owing to the sponsor's restriction on the number of applications that may be submitted from Duke, anyone wishing to pursue nomination should submit the following materials as one PDF.

* A letter of support from dean or chair - 1 to 1.5 pages
* Project summary - 2 to 4 pages
* CV or Biosketch of project leader

Applicants will need to submit internal materials through My Research Proposal.

Instructions for setting up your account and uploading internal applications can be found here: Instructions_FINAL.pdf

Internal Deadline

June 24, 2016

External Deadline

July 29, 2016