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

Although federally-funded R&D yields hard-to-quantify benefits such as students educated, degrees conferred, companies started, patents and copyrights granted, developmental partnerships formed, and private sector investment inflows, there are many indicators of the impact of this ­­­­­investment.

For example, there are over 1,900 U.S.-based companies conducting R&D, manufacturing, or product sales in nanotechnology in 2016. Of these companies engaged in the nanotechnology sector, over 36% have participated in the Small Business Innovation Research or Small Business Technology Transfer programs funded by the Federal agencies that participate in the National Nanotechnology Initiative. The most recent Business R&D and Innovation Survey (BRDIS) conducted by the National Science Foundation (NSF) found approximately 1,500 companies engaged in nanotechnology with approximately 1,100 of these classified as small businesses (less than 500 employees). The difference in the number of companies cited above can be attributed to the year the data was collected and other methodologies.

A noteworthy impact of the NNI has been the focused investment by NNI-participating agencies in the establishment and development of multidisciplinary research and education centers devoted to nanoscience and nanotechnology. NNI agencies have developed an extensive infrastructure of nearly 100 major interdisciplinary research and education centers and user facilities across the United States. This cutting-edge fabrication and characterization equipment provides state-of-the-art nanoscience tools and expertise for research by non-profit or business organizations, whether small or large, for use-inspired research and some of the user facilities are available free-of-charge for non-proprietary work if the user intends to publish the research results in the scientific literature.

In December 2015, Lux Research estimated that nanotechnology-enabled products generated $1.6 trillion in global revenues in 2014; and that figure is anticipated to increase to $3.5 trillion in 2018.

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