The Alpha Foundation for the Improvement of Mine Safety and Health, Inc. released its first call for proposals on January 18, 2013. Under this announcement, the Foundation is seeking concept papers in four broad areas: 1) Safety, 2) Health, 3) Safety and Health Management and, 4) Training. Concept papers are due by March 15, 2013.
After an independent review, applicants of selected concept papers will be invited to submit full proposals, with a detailed technical approach and budget. Final selection will be completed in summer 2013. Approximately $10 million is committed to this solicitation and it is expected that up to 15 qualified projects will be funded this year.
The Alpha Foundation for the Improvement of Mine Safety and Health, Inc. (Foundation) was established as part of a Non-Prosecution Agreement (Agreement) entered in December 2011 by the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of West Virginia, the United States Department of Justice and Alpha Natural Resources, Inc. (Alpha) and Alpha Appalachia Holdings, Inc. This Agreement was related to the explosion at Upper Big Branch (UBB) Mine, an underground coal mine owned by Performance Coal Company, a former affiliate of Massey Energy Company, which Alpha acquired in June 2011, over a year following the UBB explosion. Pursuant to that agreement, Alpha agreed to establish a trust to fund projects designed to improve mine safety and health by providing $48 million into the trust.
These funds will be used to award grants to qualified academic institutions and other not-for-profit organizations. Grant awards will be based on a two-stage competitive proposal process: (1) applicants submit a concept paper that describes the problem area that is being addressed, proposed solution and estimated cost for doing the work, and if invited; (2) applicants will then submit a full proposal with a detailed technical approach and budgetary needs for final review and consideration. This solicitation is addressing only the call for concept papers. Full proposal submission requirements will be provided by the Foundation to those who are invited to submit full proposals based upon their concept paper evaluation. Awards of selected proposals are planned by the end of summer, 2013.
Complete details of the call for concept papers can be found at www.alpha-foundation.org/callforproposals.html.