Market Development Cooperator Program


Export Eligibility Partner

Apply for Funds


Cooperator Resources

Topic Index


Educational Institutions

Eligibility to Apply
Lack of charter or articles of incorporation, proof of non-profit status, or a separate accounting system are all signs that an organization might not be a separate legal entity. Normally, unless such organizations are a small business development centers or World Trade Centers, they would not be eligible to apply. However, if such organizations would otherwise qualify as trade associations, non-profit industry associations, or state departments of trade (and their regional associations) - the categories of MDCP eligibility - they might be deemed to be eligible if they are part of an educational institution. This is possible only if the reason they are part of an educational institution is for administrative, financial, legal, or logistical reasons. However, the educational institution itself would not be eligible.

Identity: Organization at Educational Institution
If your organization is not a separate legal entity, but is deemed to be eligible as an organization at an educational institution, you should be careful how you identify your organization on the SF-424. The normal protocol is to name the specific organization first and the educational institution second. For example, Acme University may be the legal entity with an official who can sign the SF-424 as an authorized signer, even though it is the International Trade Center that is proposing the MDCP project. We do not make awards to educational institutions. Therefore, you should not identify the applicant organization as simply the educational institution - Acme University in the example above. Instead, identify the applicant organization first, followed by the legal name of the educational institution. In this example, the identity you would enter on the SF-424 would be the International Trade Center at Acme University.

Letter from Educational Institution
If your applicant organization (e.g. International Trade Center) is at an educational institution (e.g. Acme University), include in the application a signed letter from the educational institution stating that MDCP funds will be used only by the applicant organization (e.g. International Trade Center) for the purposes outlined in the application. The educational institution should pledge that it will not use or retain such funds, even though the funds may need to go through the educational institution because of the applicant organization's lack of a separate accounting system or lack of status as a separate legal entity.

ITA emblem