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Greenfield’s Manufacturing Research Partnership

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A really big “shout out” to Dr. Cliff Lipscomb and all of our economic research team, who have inked a partnership with the U.S. Department of Commerce, the National Institute for Science and Technology (NIST) and Georgia Tech to investigate NIST programs in manufacturing. Following is the text of the press release, which is also featured on a number of web sites, including RICS-Americas (

Greenfield Advisors and Georgia Institute of Technology to Evaluate the NIST MEP
November 15, 2011

ATLANTA, GA –The Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), a program of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), is a nationwide network of manufacturing extension centers that provide services to small and mid-sized manufacturers to increase their competitiveness and productivity. Since 1989, the MEP has worked with manufacturers to provide cost-effective expertise and assistance to improve their manufacturing processes, to provide workforce training, and to implement new technologies. The MEP also focuses on supply chains, providing growth and innovation services to firms. Approximately 7500 client firms are served annually.

Many stakeholders view the primary mission of the MEP as materially improving the long-term viability of US manufacturing. To meet this mission, MEP must demonstrate persistent, long-term improvement in client performance. In addition, the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has asked federal programs to make decisions regarding assessments of program performance based on evidence. Recently, the U.S. Department of Commerce awarded Greenfield Advisors and the Georgia Institute of Technology $249,000 to evaluate the effects of the MEP program. In this work, we will be evaluating the economic performance and survival of U.S. manufacturing firms, comparing the outcomes of MEP clients to nonclients, controlling for other factors. Our focus will be on establishments that received MEP services between 1997 and 2007. We will estimate the effect of different levels and types of MEP services on output and productivity growth over this period. The novelty of our approach is the econometric methods we will use to find the determinants of economic performance and survival of MEP clients while adequately controlling for selection bias.

Greenfield Advisors’ partner in this research is the Georgia Institute of Technology. Dr. Jan Youtie, Manager of Policy Services and Principal Research Associate at Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute, commented “the MEP is an important program targeted specifically for manufacturing. We are excited to work with Greenfield Advisors on this important evaluation of the effect of program services on manufacturing performance and survival.”

The MEP evaluation will take approximately 1 year to complete. Greenfield has assembled a blue-ribbon Technical Advisory Group (TAG) to consult on the development of the research and provide guidance as necessary. Members of the TAG include former and current chief economists within the U.S. Department of Commerce as well as other well-known economists at the U.S. Census Bureau and the University of Texas at Austin. You can learn more about the MEP at http://www.nist/gov/mep.

Written by johnkilpatrick

November 16, 2011 at 8:38 am

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