Resource type

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Refers to NRP-VAS, part of OVNi

Resource types are abstract entities, categories. Their elements are Resources.

For example, Microscope can be a good Resource Type with elements like "inverted microscope", "stereomicroscope", "USB microscope" etc., which are physical things in a lab.

How to think about Resources and Resource Types from the VDML perspective - Ampie's doc

See also Resource type design principles

Resource governance

Properties and characteristics

From a value chain perspective

Resources can be specific to a certain stage of development of a product project. Responds to the question "How far is this from the final product?"

  • Idea - needs to be documented and contextualized
  • Design - needs to be documented in some form, ex. CAD file for 3D modeling, SPICE file for electronics, ...,
  • Study - needs to be documented in some form, ex. a scientific paper of an R&D report.
  • Prototype - a physical thing that is somewhat fulfilling a planned function.
  • Product - a physical thing that represents a solution to a problem

Ideas and designs are immaterial but tangible, see below. Prototypes and products can be material goods or services.

From a value creation process perspective

Some resources are specific to value creation processes. They would respond to the question "What do you need in order to do that?"

  • human labor (time spent doing something, work)
  • tools and equipment (can be material, like a hummer, or immaterial, like a computer program)
  • method (a protocol, a recipe, a sequence of steps)
  • space (can be physical, like a lab, an office space, or virtual, like a website)
  • currency (tokens of value used by people in value exchange processes, can be $, bitcoins, time-based credits,...)


  • free - public, anyone can use/consume
  • protected or regulated - requires permission related to skills, role, reputation, per project, payment, ...
  • formally restricted - very restricted, related to ownership, reputation or role, requires formal access.

See more on the Physical resource governance page.

See SENSORICA/Ouishare Blockchain-based access management to physical resources project.


  • abundant. Example: ideas.
  • scarce. Example: a microscope.

This distinction is important for the design of the value accounting system, which defines inventive/rewards mechanisms.


When the notion of property is involved, i.e. transfer of property ownership

  • transferable Example - currency, consumables
  • non-transferable Example - social capital, space (to a certain extent)

When the notion of property is irrelevant, i.e. commons or shareables

  • shareable Example - all commons or items from a pool of shareables, i.e. document under Creative Commons license, not belonging to anyone, but openly shared; this also applies to material resources


Related to the domain a resource can affect. Responds to the question "Who benefits?"

  • Project specific: some resources are intended for a specific project and benefit mostly those involved in that particular project. Examples: a chemical solution that can only be used to produce a specific product.
  • Network specific: some resources are intended for a wider domain, for a group of projects or for an entire network constituted around a broader mission like SENSORICA. Examples: a website used by the entire network, like [ SENSORICA's website], or a microscope that can be used for many projects by members of a network.
  • Public: some resources can benefit the entire world. This is the case of commons: designs, documented methods, etc.


Provenance of resources. Responds to the question "Where does it come from?"

  • the OVN (usually part of the pool of shareables or commons)
  • partners (might be shared with limitations)
  • are purchased (acquired through an exchange process)


Responds to the question "Who owns it?"

  • Part of the pool of shareables. In general, these are material resources, examples: a lab, a CNC machine, a 3D printer, but can also be immaterial, like a website or a forum.
  • Part of the commons. In general, these are immaterial resources. Example: designs, documented methods, ...
  • Property of affiliates or partners of the network. Examples: an academic lab used by some SENSORICA affiliates for some projects, some equipment.

This distinction is very important from a resource management standpoint and from a governance standpoint. Resources that are part of the commons are in the public domain and are accessible by everyone on this planet. There is no governance around them. Some licenses governing use might be formulated.

The use of material resources that are part of the pool of shareables and that have high maintenance costs needs to be regulated. Other material resources, like equipment, require some level of training. Some form of governance needs to be put in place. Moreover, a resource management system needs to be put in place to monitor their ware and tare, as well as their whereabouts, allocation, etc.

Resources owned by affiliates or partners of the network are governed by rules imposed by the owner. The community might also impose some generic rules on them.

Behavior of resources

We can classify resources by their behavior is use.

  • material (a microscope, a lab space)
    • In economic processes they get created, consumed, used, destroyed. They have distribution costs associated with them, have a higher cost of reproduction. Some material resources are part of the pool of shareables, others are the property of affiliates and partners.
    • From a resource management perspective they can get depleted, worn, replaced, replenished, maintained/repaired, stored, transported, shared. They also must have a physical location associated with them and/or if they are integrated into more complex material resources, to point to the item they are pat of...
    • From a governance perspective access to them may be restricted (need training, certification, to be a member, to justify the use,...)
  • immaterial (an idea, a design, a website) - in processes they can
    • In economic processes they can get created, cited, forked, mixed. Immaterial and virtual resources are not consumed during their use, have lower storage costs, can be copied indefinitely at very small costs.
    • From a resource management perspective they can get maintained, stored, shared. They also must have a virtual location associated with them (or a physical if we talk about a printed document, or a CD or flash stick) and/or if they are integrated into more complex immaterial resources, to point to the item they are pat of...
    • From a governance perspective access to them may be restricted (sensitive information)

We usually put immaterial resources under commons

Other properties

Related to use of physical resources

Consumables, tools, equipment, surroundings or space.

Potential to induce harm. Some physical resources can be harmful. Ex. chemicals, heavy machines, spaces that have a risk of contamination, etc. Resources need to have different parameters describing their potential to induce harm. Access to potentially harmful resources needs restrictions based on skills. See more on Physical resource governance.

NOTE: include this parameter field in the VAS, related to potential to induce harm, which is important from a resource management point of view and related to the governance of certain resources. See Github issue.


Tangible doesn't necessarily mean material. Examples: a lab space, a piece of equipment, a document, a design, a website...


  • brand (for the network and for products)
  • social capital (someone can use social capital to open a new market, to drive a crowdfunding campaign, etc.)
  • group dynamics (someone can deliver an increase in activity for a project, by animating, coordinating and energizing a group around a project)
  • members and customers loyalty (focus attention, inform, service, personalize attention and approaches, ...)
  • synergy (linking projects within the value system)
  • internal structure and relationships (weaving networks of agents)
  • incentive systems (identifying incentives, building incentive systems, communicating incentives, embedding purpose in projects)
  • competencies (improving individual skills, increasing group competency, build know how)
  • cultural values (help establish and maintain a culture)
  • business practices (establish sustainable business practices)
  • social responsibility (inject social responsibility into value network goals and activities)
  • data, information and knowledge system (improve the capture, storage, analysis, contextualization, translation into actionables, exchange... of data, information and knowledge)
  • governance (help with decision making, improve decision making mechanisms)
  • sense of community (animate, inject purpose, help, nurture a sense of community)
  • trust (by members in the value network, in all the risk metrics used, in evaluation processes, in sustainability, in the ethical fabric of the VN, by costumers in products, services, future improvements, continuity, compatibility)

The case of funds

Funds are pools of currencies (tokens of value used in exchange processes).

How to distribute funds

Two propositions have been recorded in SENSORICA.

  1. No central budget: redistribute funds as soon as they arrive to all actual active members, based on the value equation, in proportion to their respective fluid equity. Let these active members use it as they see fit.
  2. Budget with forward-looking VAS: the funds are hold by a custodian which redistributes them based on a development plan, using a forward-looking value accounting system. Example: Open Value Network infrastructure funding initiative
  3. add others if you are aware of...

On Fundraising

Fundraising is an important activity that needs be incentivised. If there are no incentives to drive a fundraising campaign everyone will wait for others to do it. This behavior has been observed in SENSORICA - Tibi.

Tibi proposed to form fundraising groups and fundraising projects with the goal to deliver funds to the community (through classical funding initiatives or crowdfunding). The deliverable of this team is the fund, which would go to a custodian and distribute it according to one of the methods described above. A % of the fund will automatically be subtracted and given to the fundraising group. That is their recompense, and at the same time, this is what justifies the transfer process, from the fundraising group to the custodian who will administer it for the community.

NOTE that funds raised for OVN projects or for infrastructure development or maintenance must belong to the community, because the brand of the OVN and the OVN's capacity and potential, all part of the commons, are used to get the funds. The fundraising process is in fact regulated by the rules that regulate the use of the brand, which is part of the commons. If someone raises funds only using his own assets, capacity and potential, with no reference to the OVN, the funds only belong to him.

Funds are a resource that is tangible, scarce, depletable. The resource is shared and administered according to the rules the community decides. It is advisable to decide in advance how the funds will be used, in order to eliminate future conflicts.

The case of space

Space is a shared resource, part of the physical infrastructure.

On building a new space

Building a new space is an important activity that needs be incentivised. If there are no incentives to drive it almost everyone will wait for others to do it. This behavior has been observed in SENSORICA - Tibi.

Tibi proposed to create a project and form a group around this activity, with the goal to deliver the space to the community. The deliverable of this team is the space, which would go to a custodian to be administered according to a charter the community creates. During the process, those involved in the building a space activity, which is an infrastructure development type of activity, will log their contributions. These contributions can be in time (meetings, documentation, giving presentations, visiting, etc.) in cash (paying for rent, repairs, etc.), in materials (sharing renovation tools with the group for repairs and maintenance, etc.). The promise is that once the space will generate projects that in turn generate revenue, the initial investment will be rewarded. There are different ways to reward this initial investment. Tibi proposed one guiding principle: those who invest in infrastructure development cannot hope to get a % from all commercially successful projects using this infrastructure, for as long as they exist, because this kind of investment has a great multiplication factor that makes is unjust compared to contributions to projects (for example, writing a document that helps infrastructure development or writing a document that helps an R&D project, in the second case the contribution generates fluid equity for one project, in the first, for all projects).

One way to reward infrastructure development contributions is to calculate the market equivalent value (ex. if spent one hour doing something, how much the labor market would reward for the same hour of the same activity?) and whenever the new space becomes sustainable to be repaid back the equivalent plus x%, which represents the risk incurred. The x% is fixed based on supply and demand: it is slowly raised until enough resources become available to build the space.

If fundraising is done for building a space, see the section on fundraising above.

Some examples


  • components (laser diode, scres, ...)
  • prototypes (a sensor prototype)
  • products (a ready to sell material good)
  • tools (screwdriver, ... )
  • equipment (microscope, computer, ...)
  • consumables (glue, chemical solutions, printing ink and paper, ... )
  • space (physical: a lab, an office space; virtual: website, forum, shared folder/drive)


  • designs (CAD files or 3D models, SPICE files, ZMAX files, drawings and sketches)
  • methods (optical fiber coating, couper etching, marketing schemes, etc.)
  • publications (posts, articles, videos, ...)

Resource types and the NRP-VAS

In the NRP-VAS resources are grouped into Resource types. See SENSORICA's Resource Types list.

Some Resource types have recipes associated with them. Recipes are essentially a group of processes that lead to the creation of a family of resources (a resource type). Recipes are used in planning and provide context to work.

The NRP-VAS gives the possibility to group Resource types into Resource type lists. Only resource types with recipes can be included in Resource type lists. Lists are used in planning. They essentially allow us to group together different recipes.

Rights and the RAE model.

See also

Pool of shareables

Resource type and resources