The March 2021 funding cycle for the Jeff Lawrence Innovation Fund Manufacturing Grants is now open. The grants are designed to encourage collaboration between not-for-profit organizations and small to medium-sized manufacturers in New York State. Applicants can access the program information by clicking here. The application process will close promptly at 4:00PM on Wednesday, March 31, 2021.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR SUBMITTING AN APPLICATION IN SURVEYMONKEY APPLY (SMA)
Many of our applicants have applied to previous rounds of Manufacturing Grants, and already have an SMA account. When logging in to SMA to apply for this round, they will also see previous applications listed on their dashboard. This keeps everything centralized and makes for easier access when an organization with a previous award is awarded again (note: a not-for-profit, or a specific department of a university, can only receive one Manufacturing Grant award per year).
For this reason, we highly encourage applicants to use the same email to log in to SMA as they have used before; otherwise, an applicant may accidentally create a new application in a different account from the one with a previous award, which could be confusing going forward.
Still on the issue of applicants with previous SMA accounts: if an applicant has not logged in to SMA in a while, it is possible that they do not remember their password. After a few failed login attempts, SMA will lock the user out. Please be mindful that SMA’s password reset process is not automatic, unlike most online platforms. Resetting a password in SMA requires the user to reach out to SMA through a form and wait for their technical team to reply. Although this process creates an extra layer of data security, it can also be time consuming, so plan accordingly. Unfortunately, FuzeHub staff is not able to aid users with password issues.
The eligibility process has changed for 2021. Applicants will not receive an automatically generated immediate response once they complete the Stage 1 – Preliminary Eligibility Review tasks, and will not be able to proceed to the full application questions immediately. Instead, applicants will receive an email response after eligibility requirements have been checked. For applicants deemed eligible to apply, only then will the Stage 2 – Application Submission tasks become visible and accessible.
Applicants who don’t meet eligibility requirements will receive an email citing the ineligible issue(s) and follow up contact information.
Because of this extra step, the new process increases the amount of time required to complete an application. We urge applicants to start the eligibility test early, so they can have access to all the application tasks sooner. Once the applicant is granted full application access, they can proceed at their own pace, same as in previous manufacturing grant rounds.
System Email Tagged as “Junk” or “Spam”
It is critical for all applicants, particularly the new ones, to be aware that the SMA system email is often tagged as “junk” or “spam” by email applications/services. For this reason, it is extremely important for users to whitelist SMA’s email address, in order to guarantee that all relevant correspondence reaches them in a timely manner. Whitelisting is the process of marking certain email addresses or domain names as safe, so the email application/service knows not to block messages received from them. Often, when applicants are non-responsive to the manufacturing grants-related messages, it is because they are not seeing our emails due to blocking. Whitelisting can be specific to the email service used, so contact your IT department if you need help with it. The SMA email address is firstname.lastname@example.org – make sure to whitelist it so you do not miss any important notifications, announcements and reminders!
Before Final Submission, Please Review
Once an applicant is satisfied with their application, they should start the process to carefully review their work before submitting it, to make sure all relevant documentation has uploaded correctly. This is particularly noteworthy for the budget file (see below). When the applicant submits the application, the SMA platform locks it and the applicant will no longer be able to make any changes to it. The applicant can use the button <Review> on the left-side menu to see the application items in the same way that the review panel will see them.
Final Submission Confirmation – Submitting the Application
Please be aware that several steps are needed to actually submit the application. SMA uses a “green check mark” system where the user marks each individually required task as complete. However, marking all tasks as complete does not finalize the submission. SMA requires multiple confirmations before the application is submitted. After completing all the tasks, the button <Submit> will become available on the left-hand side of the application main screen. The first click on <Submit> does not submit the application to FuzeHub. This step is meant as a last chance to review the entire application, including all answers and uploaded files as they will appear to the review panel. Take advantage of it and check that all information is correct and visible (pay particular attention to the budget worksheet appearance, as we have received many budgets that were not entirely visible in the past). At the top right-hand corner of this screen is the final submission button, <Submit Your Application>. Once the user clicks on this button, one more pop-up window with the final <Submit> button will appear, then the application is formally submitted. Once the application is submitted, the applicant should see a confirmation message on the screen and also receive a confirmation email. If you do not receive a confirmation email, please contact FuzeHub.
SMA Step-by-Step Guide
A detailed how-to guide for SMA is available in the platform, from the menu Pages, MG Resources, Application Step-by-Step Guide.
If you need technical assistance while using the SMA platform, please reach out to the program specialist, Patty Rechberger, at email@example.com.