NSI: Nanotechnology Knowledge Infrastructure (NKI) Data Readiness Levels discussion draft

Subject Area:
NNI Publications and Reports
Author: NSI NKI
Publication Date: May. 9 2013

Description:
A critical aspect of sharing data is an understanding of the maturity or quality of the data. Representatives from the collaborating agencies of the NKI Signature Initiative have developed a nomenclature for communicating the maturity of data. Analogous to Technology Readiness Levels, the Data Readiness Levels provide a shorthand method for conveying coarse assessments of data from experiments or model predictions for use in improving analytical methods and validating or calibrating models, and for comparisons with legacy datasets. Data Readiness Levels (DRLs) are seven graded definitions (0-6) of data quality and data maturity. DRLs provide common, simple descriptors of data quality and maturity. Unlike Technology Readiness Levels (TRLs), DRLs are  augmented with metadata qualifiers that enable further assessment, reproduction, or use of the data by others. Metadata vary by discipline, as well measurement or computational considerations. The use of both DRL levels and metadata qualifiers provide a common basis for a peer-reviewed “literature” to support informed data sharing, to augment data citation in print publications, and to accelerate the translation of research to design and manufacture.   

Nanotechnology Fact

Nanotechnology is used in many commercial products and processes, for example, nanomaterials are used to manufacture lightweight, strong materials for applications such as boat hulls, sporting equipment, and automotive parts. Nanomaterials are also used in sunscreens and cosmetics.

Nanostructured products are used to produce space-saving insulators which are useful when size and weight is at a premium—for example, when insulating long pipelines in remote places, or trying to reduce heat loss from an old house. Nanostructured catalysts make chemical manufacturing processes more efficient, by saving energy and reducing waste.

In healthcare, nanoceramics are used in some dental implants or to fill holes in diseased bones, because their mechanical and chemical properties can be “tuned” to attract bone cells from the surrounding tissue to make new bone. Some pharmaceutical products have been reformulated with nanosized particles to improve their absorption and make them easier to administer. Opticians apply nanocoatings to eyeglasses to make them easier to keep clean and harder to scratch and nanoenabled coatings are used on fabrics to make clothing stain-resistant and easy to care for.

Almost all high-performance electronic devices manufactured in the past decade use some nanomaterials. Nanotechnology helps build new transistor structures and interconnects for the fastest, most advanced computing chips.

All told, nanotechnologies are estimated to have impacted $251 billion across the global economy in 2009. This is estimated to grow to $2.4 trillion by 2015 (Lux Research, 2010).

For more information, see Benefits and Applications.

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