Magazine article Black Enterprise

Helping Colleges Compete

Magazine article Black Enterprise

Helping Colleges Compete

Article excerpt

Each year, historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) compete for millions of dollars in research grants, procurement contracts and scholarship awards from federal government agencies. In the past, HBCUs have complained of the difficulties they face going up against larger majority institutions for these grants. The Federal Information Exchange Inc. (FIE) offers two computer systems to level the playing field in the grant wars.

The Federal Information Exchange (FEDIX) and the Minority On-Line Information Service (MOLIS) computer systems were born out of Executive Order 12677, which mandated a five-year, $3 million small business research grant to the Gaithersburg, Md.-based Federal Information Exchange Inc. The equipment and software to access the information systems are provided free to subscribing schools, which can then access the information for the cost of a telephone call.

The FEDIX system is a data base which provides information on 11 government agencies, such as the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Science foundation. The system is intended to get information about grant opportunities to the educational institutions that need it as quickly as possible.

The MOLIS database provides government agencies with a wealth of information on black and Hispanic colleges and universities. Current research capabilities, student population profiles, educational programs and future planned facilities are listed. The system is a resource for agencies that previously said they never sought out HBCUs and Hispanic universities for contracts and grants because they knew little about them. …

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