Market Development Cooperator Program

Through the Market Development Cooperator Program (MDCP), the International Trade Administration (ITA) aims to develop, maintain and expand foreign markets for nonagricultural goods and services produced in the United States.

credit: Razoo

Examples of Funded Projects

Examples of activities which applicants from prior years have found appropriate are set forth below.

These are provided only for illustration.

Applicants are not required to propose any of these activities: (1) foreign trade shows; (2) foreign trade missions; (3) reverse trade missions; (4) product demonstrations abroad; (5) export seminars; (6) technical seminars abroad; (7) joint product promotions with foreign partners; (8) establishment of offices abroad; (9) co-locating an office with the U.S.& Foreign Commercial Service; (10) advice to foreign standards and testing organizations; (11) training of foreign agents and distributors; and (12) creating and promoting matchmaking databases.

Descriptions of the award recipients' projects are available at

Agency - Department of Commerce

The Department of Commerce fosters and promotes the nation's economic development and technological advancement through vigilance in international trade policy, domestic business policy and growth, and promoting economic progress at all levels.

Office - The MDCP is managed from the headquarters office, which should be the applicant's initial point of contact for MDCP information.

In addition, applicants are encouraged to contact relevant ITA industry specialists in Washington, DC and their nearest ITA Export Assistance Center.

Contact information is available at

Relevant Nonprofit Program Categories

Program Accomplishments

On average, MDCP project activity yields 86 dollars in exports for every federal dollar invested.

Uses and Use Restrictions

A notice is published in the Federal Register soliciting applications.

A more detailed Federal Funding Opportunity (FFO) notice describing the program is published at, where the most recent notice and the FFO are available, or from the contact listed in "Information Contacts" below.

The most prominent uses and restrictions are summarized below.

(1) Applicants should propose foreign market development activities that result in increased exports by U. S. firms; (2) the primary beneficiaries of project activity should be small-and medium-sized enterprises; (3) no more than $400,000 in federal funds is available for each project; (4)the federal funds are to last for the life of the project, not to exceed three years; (5) applicant match is two for one: for each federal dollar received, applicant must match at least one dollar with cash and another dollar with cash or in-kind contribution; and (6) federal funds and the first dollar of applicant match can be used only on direct costs.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Applicants are found to be eligible in one of three categories: (1) Nonprofit industry organizations (includes small business development centers, World Trade Centers, and 501(c)nonprofits such as chambers of commerce, international trade centers, port authorities, economic development organizations, and other business interest groups); (2) trade associations; and (3) State departments of trade and their regional associations (includes centers for international trade and similar entities that may fall within a university organization).

The Statute stipulates that private industry firms or groups of firms may be found eligible in cases where no entity described above represents that industry.

However, since the program began operating in 1993, no private firm has been able to demonstrate that an organization in one of the first three categories did not represent its interests.

Beneficiary Eligibility

U.S. firms that sell non-agricultural goods or services. (While private firms benefit from MDCP project activity, as noted above, they are generally not eligible to apply for MDCP funds.)


In order to determine eligibility, applicants should consult and request an eligibility determination in writing from the MDCP Manager (see "Information Contacts"). The written request should be accompanied by the most current version of all the following documents that apply: (1) articles of incorporation; (2) charter; (3) bylaws; (4) information on types of members and membership fees; (5) Internal Revenue Service acknowledgment of non-profit status; (6) annual report; (7) audited financial statements; and (8) documentation of ties to state trade departments or their regional associations.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination


This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.


Application Procedures

The main body of the application should include the substance of the applicant's proposal as identified in elements (1) through (4) below. It is limited to 50 pages. Elements (5) through (7) below, as well as information which supplements elements (1) through (4) should be submitted as appendices. There is no limit to the number of pages for the appendices. The elements of the application are summarized below. (1) Executive summary of one-page that lists application essentials such as a summary of the proposal, name address, contact information, ITA offices to be involved in the proposal, budget, amount of federal funds requested, term of project, U.S. industry(s) to be promoted, and target markets; (2) background research on the market potential of U.S. products to be marketed, competition, economic situation, ability/desire of the U.S. industry to export, and the ability/desire of foreign customers to purchase U.S. products; (3)project description including a work plan, performance measures, a description of performance measurement recording and reporting, and a description of how applicant plans to incorporate partnership with ITA in its project; (4) credentials including a description of the applicant's competence and resumes of principal players; (5) budget including financial statements, a detailed description of the budget, the "Budget for Project Award Period" worksheet, and the form "Budget Information" (SF-424A); (6) other forms including SF-424, SF424B, CD- 511, and CD-346. Applicants that intend to lobby the federal government with funds included in the project budget should also submit SF-LLL. All of these forms are available at; (7) other appendices.

Award Procedures

A selection panel of at least three senior ITA officials evaluates each MDCP application based on the following criteria: (1) Export success potential; (2) performance measurement; (3) partnership potential with ITA and compatibility with ITA priorities; (4) creativity and institutional capacity; and (5) budget, cash match, and sustainability. Each application can receive up to 20 points in each of the five categories for a total possible score of 100. Once applications are received, applicants may not revise them. Unsuccessful applicants will be notified in writing within 10 days after award decisions have been announced. Since the program began in 1993, ITA has made, on average, 7 awards per year.


Historically, application deadlines have varied from early spring to early summer. The most recent information is posted at


Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988, Public Law 100-418, Title II, Section 2303, 102 Stat. 1342, 15 U.S.C.4723.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Approximately 90 to 180 days.


All award decisions are final. There is no appeal process.


Not applicable.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988, Public Law 100-418, Title II, Section 2303, 102 Stat. 1342, 15 U.S.C. 4723. This information on formula and matching requirements is published in the Federal Register in an annual solicitation for applications, available at

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Funds may be expended over the period of time required to complete the scope of the work, but not exceed three years from the date of the award. Assistance is released according to approved marketing plans in the Market Development Cooperator Program.

Post Assistance Requirements


Award recipients submit reports and requests as set forth below.

(1) Quarterly reports: (a) progress in project activity, and (b) financial status (SF-269); (2) requests/reports as needed: (a) advance or reimbursement request (SF- 270); and (b) cash transactions reports (SF-272)(for recipients that receive award funds in advance).


In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133 (Revised, June 27, 2003), recipients that are States, Local Governments, Nonprofit Organizations (to include Hospitals), and Institutions of Higher Learning shall be subject to the audit requirements contained in the Single Audit Act Amendments of 1996 (31 U.S.C. 7501-7507).


All financial and programmatic records, supporting documents, statistical reports, and other records of recipients or sub recipients must be maintained in accordance with the terms of the award. Generally, the recipient must retain records for 3 years from the date on which the final expenditure report is submitted.

Financial Information

Account Identification



(Cooperative Agreements) FY 07 $2,000,000; FY 08 est not available; and FY 09 est not reported.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

$10,000 to $400,000. Average: $298,000.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

Applicants can link to Internet sources for each of the authorities cited below at (1) MDCP-specific authorities and guidelines: (a) Federal Register notice soliciting applications; (b) mock application; and (c) application kit; (2) statutory authority: Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988, Public Law 100-418, Title II, Section 2303,102 Stat. 1342, 15 U.S.C. 4723. (3) regulatory/administrative guidelines: (a) costs will be determined in accordance with OMB Circular No. A-87 for State and local governments, and with OMB Circular No. A- 122 for nonprofit and for-profit organizations; (b)financial assistance management will be in accordance with OMB Circular No. A-110 for nonprofit organizations and 15 CFR Part 24 for State and local governments.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

The MDCP is managed from the headquarters office, which should be the applicant's initial point of contact for MDCP information. In addition, applicants are encouraged to contact relevant ITA industry specialists in Washington, DC and their nearest ITA Export Assistance Center. Contact information is available at

Headquarters Office

MDCP Manager, Brad Hess, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue, N.W., HCHB 3215, Washington, DC 20230. Telephone: (202) 482-2969. Fax: (202) 482-5828. Organizational Reference: Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration, Trade Development, Office of Planning, Coordination and Management. Management and Planning Division.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Additional details on the selection criteria are published in the Federal Register and in the FFO, the annual solicitation for applications. The most recent solicitation is available at

Meticulon, a project of Autism Calgary Association in partnership with the federal government and the Sinneave Family Foundation, operates as a social enterprise that renders high-tech services provided by people with autism, leveraging their natural abilities at requiring attention to detail, repetition, and sequencing.

More Federal Domestic Assistance Programs

Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention_Allocation to States | Mental Health National Research Service Awards for Research Training | Alternate Non-Emergency Service Providers or Networks | Cooperative Watershed Management Program | Conflict and Stabilization Operations |  Site Style by YAML | | Grants | Grants News | Sitemap | Privacy Policy

Edited by: Michael Saunders

© 2004-2024 Copyright Michael Saunders