Iowa is committed to helping manufacturers adapt to the landscape formed by the fourth industrial revolution - Industry 4.0 - and its emphasis on smart technology, data-driven operations and process automation. As the state's largest industry, advanced manufacturing generates more than $12 billion worth of exported goods and accounts for nearly 18% of the state's GDP so it is critical that Iowa’s manufacturing industry remains competitive, especially given the challenges introduced to the marketplace as a result of COVID-19. This program will help to address the workforce issues in the manufacturing sector exacerbated by the COVID-19 public health crisis by awarding grants to eligible applicants that demonstrate the ability to embrace and utilize Industry 4.0 technologies to:
- Address workforce shortages that are either limiting the company in growth or sales and/or,
- Retain existing employees by refocusing human capital from manual, labor-intensive positions into highly skilled value-added occupations through the integration of varying robotic and automated systems.
To help the manufacturing industry in Iowa recover from the negative impacts of COVID19 and remain globally competitive, the State of Iowa plans to prioritize the investment of resources in the following areas:
- Projects aimed at helping manufacturers increase productivity efficiency and competitive through the acquisition of Industry 4.0 equipment, such as specialized equipment for automation, collaborative robotics and equipment for process improvements.
- Projects aimed at the acquisition of specialized hardware or software in the Industry 4.0 technology groups such as investments in Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT infrastructure hardware, cybersecurity software, sensor integration tools, predictive maintenance software, industrial wearable technology for injury prevention, data visualization software, RFID tagging software and equipment for inventory tracking, etc.)
Pursuant to Treasury requirements for use of American Rescue Plan Act State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds, applicants must quantitatively articulate the negative impacts the COVID-19 public health crisis has inflicted on their business, especially pertaining to financial hardship, operating costs, costs associated with COVID-19 prevention implementation, and business planning needs addressing changes in business practices due to COVID-19.
Grantees should expect to track and submit additional performance metrics to be provided by IEDA prior to execution of the final contract. Selected metrics will be reported to the federal government for a period of years following implementation.
IEDA authority to award these grants may be found in the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, (H.R. 1319), as delegated by Governor Kim Reynolds pursuant to her authority under the same act.
Estimated Available Funds
Governor Kim Reynolds has designated $25,000,000 for the Manufacturing 4.0 Workforce Innovations Grant that Iowa received under the federal American Rescue Plan Act (H.R.1319).
Estimated Award Amount
IEDA anticipates awarding grants ranging from $75,000 to $500,000. Grant awards may vary in amount as determined by the scope of the project and the availability of funding (based on the number of applications received). Funding decisions are made as funding is available and IEDA is not obligated to provide any requested amount or the maximum grant amount. The intent is to fund projects throughout the state, and funds will be awarded accordingly.
Project and Award Period
Pursuant to the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, (H.R.1319), funds received as part of this program must be entirely spent by December 31, 2026.
Type of Award
IEDA will make award announcements on or around February 28, 2022. Contracts for awards will be delivered to grantees no later than March 31, 2022. Awards will be distributed on a reimbursement basis upon verification of the investment/acquisition by the applicant and required matching amount threshold has been met. All funds must be obligated by December 31, 2024, and paid by December 31, 2026. Projects must be completed within three years of the date of the project contract.
Match and Award Cap
Grants will require a 25% cash match and are capped at $500,000.
Use of Funds
The Manufacturing 4.0 Workforce Innovation Grants will be awarded to applicants that indicate the intent to purchase technology including software, hardware, equipment, training materials, licenses or any other necessary tool or equipment to implement innovative technology within a facility to address workforce burnout, improve retention and grow the workforce, and implement effective pivots in business processes in an effort to help recover from business hardships exacerbated by COVID-19. Training employees is not an applicable usage of funds.
Successful applicants will be required to submit vouchers, receipts, expenditures, and reports to document how the funds were spent and certify the funds were used in accordance with the grant application and grant program. Upon receipt of the award, grantees must provide a detailed report of the use of funds each year to Iowa Economic Development until the project has ended. The report must include, but is not necessarily limited to:
- Date funds received;
- Amount of funds received;
- A description of the technology or equipment paid for by the funds;
- Performance measures met as indicated in contracting documents
Eligible applicants include, but are not limited manufacturers who:
- Are incorporated or authorized to do business in Iowa,
- Employ a minimum of 76 employees and fewer than 250 full-time individuals across all locations.
- Gain at least 51% of their revenue from the sale of manufactured goods
- Have been in operation for at least three years
- Have NAICS codes falling between 31 and 33; and
- Demonstrate negative economic impacts due to COVID-19
Grantees must comply with all applicable provisions of state and federal laws pertaining to nondiscrimination, sexual harassment, and equal employment opportunity.
Additional consideration will be given to organizations that demonstrate the administrative capacity and a history of successfully implementing innovative projects and successfully implementing and reporting on prior IEDA grants.
Additional consideration will also be given to organizations and projects in local workforce areas and regions throughout the State of Iowa that document how the project will impact workforce, education, and economic development.
Additional consideration will be given to organizations that demonstrate greater need for support to address business hardships exacerbated by the COVID-19 public health crisis, as well as demonstrate aptitude to utilize Industry 4.0 methodology to not only address these hardships, but to create new growth.
Application and Submission Information
Electronic Submission Instructions
Please review the following guidance when preparing your grant application in IowaGrants.gov
Applicants must submit applications electronically via IowaGrants.gov. IEDA recommends that applicants create an account and begin the application in advance of the deadline. For registration guidance, refer to the IowaGrants New User Registration Instructions online at www.IowaGrants.gov.
The applicant’s authorized representative must be the person who submits the application. The authorized representative must be using his or her own IowaGrants.gov account to sign and submit the application.
Official email communication from IEDA and IWD regarding this application will be issued from email@example.com. Applicants are required to assure these communications are received and responded to accordingly.
Submission Dates and Times
Please see the Important Dates section at the beginning of this announcement for the submission deadline. IEDA reserves the right to extend the submission deadline and any notice of such extension will be posted on IEDA websites and/or IowaGrants.gov.
Attempted submission of a completed application after the stated due date and time will not be allowed by the system. If a submission is attempted after the published date and time, the applicant will receive a notice stating, “The Funding Opportunity is closed.”
Application Review/Scoring Information
Extent to which the manufacturers proposed manufacturing 4.0 technology investment is consistent with the workforce needs of the business
The extent to which the proposed manufacturing 4.0 solution will help the applicant meet the identified 3-5 year key growth plans
Percent of Applicants business revenue derived from the sale of manufactured goods
The sufficiency of the proposed investment’s financing structure, the feasibility of the sources of funds and the appropriateness of the proposed uses of funds, including the demonstrated CVID-19 economic impact
The extent to which the investment corresponds to the specific types of investments identified by the authority on the application form or forms
The ability and capacity to track performance metrics
Review and Selection Process
A review team will use the criteria listed in this section to review applications under this funding announcement.
Some applicants may receive requests to provide clarifying information and/or make changes to their application including changes to the budget. This information is used by IEDA staff in making funding recommendations. Applications may be recommended for funding even if they are not asked clarification questions. A request for clarification does not guarantee a grant award. Failure to respond to requests adequately and in a timely manner may result in the removal of applications from consideration.
Selection for Funding
Decisions to award grants and the funding levels will be determined per application based upon compliance with the requirements of this funding announcement. Applicants may be selected to enter into a grant agreement, finalizing grant terms, budget, scope-of-work provisions, at which time the final decision to make a grant award will be made. Submission of an application is not a guarantee of an award.
Awarding Agency Contact(s)
Please direct any questions regarding this NOFO to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Technical Assistance (TA) will be provided throughout the application process, in the form of webinars and direct support. A TA schedule will be available on the Future Ready Iowa website and regularly updated.
- If an applicant fails to meet any eligibility criterion at the time of an application deadline, the application may still be reviewed but the State will not make an award until all eligibility criteria are met.
- IEDA reserves the right to request additional information from applicants to evaluate applications.
- IEDA at their sole discretion, reserves the right to reject all applications; to reject individual applications for failure to meet any requirement; to award in part or total, and to waive minor defects and non-compliance. Such a waiver will not modify the program requirements or excuse the applicant from full compliance with program specifications or grant agreement requirements if the grant is awarded. Submission of an application confers no right to an award or to a subsequent grant agreement.
- All application submissions become the property of IEDA. If funds are awarded, the contents of all applications will be in the public domain at the conclusion of the selection process and will be open to inspection by interested parties subject to exceptions provided in Iowa Code Chapter 22 or other provision of law.
- IEDA is not obligated to award any grants under this program, to pay any costs incurred by the applicant in the preparation and submission of an application or pay any grant-related costs incurred prior to the grant beginning date.
- All decisions by IEDA are final.
- Upon IEDA approval, the successful applicant will receive a grant agreement via email from IEDA. The applicant has 10 working days to sign the grant agreement. If the agreement is not executed within 10 working days, IEDA reserves the right to cancel the award. IEDA, at its sole discretion, may extend the timeframe for executing the grant agreement.
- Any grant agreement awarded by IEDA shall include specific provisions, terms, and conditions.