Resource type

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Resource types are abstract entities, representations of actual resources of categories of resources. If two things that are used in a process are interchangeable, they belong to the same resource type.

NRP-CAS, part of OVNi implements resources as resource types, based on the REA ontology. For example, real Microscope is represented in the NRP-CAS by a Resource Type, which can have elements like "inverted microscope", "stereomicroscope", "USB microscope" etc., all physical things in a physical lab space.

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

See also Resource type design principles

Resource governance

With respect to blockchain, resources types can be represented as ricardian contracts, which become the basis of the onchain governance of resource. This reduces the transaction cost for accessing / using / consuming resources shared across a network. See more on the economic model.

Properties and characteristics

From a value chain perspective

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

  • Idea - needs to be documented and contextualized
  • Design - needs to be formalized 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 an intended 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 artifacts, goods.

From a production process perspective

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

  • Human labor (time spent doing something, work)
  • Usables and consumables (can be material like a hummer and screws, or immaterial like a computer program)
    • Space (can be physical, like a lab, an office space, or virtual, like a website)
  • Method (a protocol, a recipe, a sequence of steps)
  • Current-see (symbolic system that organizes flows)
    • Currency (tokens of value used by people in value exchange processes, can be $, bitcoins, time-based credits,...)

These resources have features, which make them more or less suitable for a particular process.


Accessibility is related to ''property regime'' and rights. See more on the Physical resource governance page.

Main categories of accessibility

  • Free - Public, anyone can use/consume
  • Protected or regulated - Requires some credentials based on skills, role, reputation, payment, ... Can also be regulated based on priority, scarcity, ...
  • Formally restricted - Requires formal procedures for approval.

See Sensorica/Ouishare Blockchain-based access management to physical resources project. Rights and the RAE model.


  • Abundant. Example: ideas. Have very low marginal costs, once it is produced, it can be reproduced at low cost.
  • Scarce. Example: a microscope. Have high marginal costs.

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

They can also be

  • Rivalrous - access to use is limited by other use, access can be restricted
  • Non-rivalrous - multiple agents can have use access to the same resource at the same time.


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

Some things are not transferable and /or not tradeable (can't be sold or exchanged against something else). Farmer - Kidtrade paper emphasizes the difference between tradeable and non tradeable goods. For example, someone's reputation score based on good service, good deeds what have you cannot be passed to someone else. Allowing this would in fact destroy the reputation system, as its meaning would be called into question.

There is is an opportunity for tools like NRP-CAS to chase after and define metrics or metacurrencies for valuables that are not transferable or tradeable.


Intangible resources cannot be measured. Noubel goes so far as to say there are some things that aren't even measurable, like love, but they can in fact be acknowledged.

For example, reputation is arguably not tradeable but is it measurable? We can approach quantification using proxies. In the case of reputation, which can be seen as an individual asset, attempts are Klout.


Some resources are readily converted into others. Some conversion paths are not possible.


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

  • Venture specific: some resources are intended for a specific venture and benefit mostly those involved in that particular venture. 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 ventures 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 ventures by affiliates of a network.
  • Public: some resources can benefit the entire world. This is the case of commons: designs, documented methods, etc.

Property regime

Resources are treated in society under a given property regime, which confers rights and responsibilities over resources, which in turn leads to governance.

  • Private property of affiliates or partners of the network. Can also be shared private property such as condominium. Examples: an academic lab used by affiliates of the collaborative venture for some projects, some equipment or physical space.
  • Pool of shareables. In general, these are material resources such as a lab, a CNC machine, a 3D printer, but can also be immaterial, like a website or a forum.
  • Commons. In general, these are immaterial resources such as designs, pictures, documented methods, …
  • Nondominium. Assets that cannot be owned by anyone in particular.

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.


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

We can also talk about the flow of resources into processes within the network: inward (from the OVN) or outward (from partners or purchased).

Resource flows

About flows of resources as in: transactions, distribution, etc.

See also [the Valueflows project], which describes the flows of valuables within organizations. including networks. The name Valueflows is a misnomer in our opinion, as value is not a substance that can flow or even be stored.

Behavior of resources

We can classify resources by their behavior is use.

  • Material (ex. a microscope, a lab space)
    • In economic processes they get created, consumed, used, destroyed, transferred (exchanged, shared). They have design, creation, distribution and storage costs, 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 economic processes they can get created, cited, forked, mixed, transferred. They are not consumed during their use, have lower storage costs, can be copied indefinitely at very small costs. Some immaterial assets are non-transferable (ex. consultancy services) and the cost of reproduction scales with volume.
    • 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)

Sensorica puts immaterial resources under commons

  • Tangible (doesn't necessarily mean material. Examples: a lab space, a piece of equipment, a document, a design, a website...)
  • Intangible
    • 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 venture, by animating, coordinating and energizing a group around a venture)
    • members and customers loyalty (focus attention, inform, service, personalize attention and approaches, ...)
    • synergy (linking ventures within the value system)
    • internal structure and relationships (weaving networks of agents)
    • incentive systems (identifying incentives, building incentive systems, communicating incentives, embedding purpose in ventures)
    • 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)


Material resources, mostly usables, should have a parameter if reliability, which is related to the risk associated with their use. In other words, is that piece of equipment going to brake during the fabrication process? Is that sensor going to present acuate data? Is that tool available with high probability?

Reliability is a fact like Reputation for agents and can be taken into consideration by systems of prioritization, choice of a resource to be included into a process. Reliability should also reflect desirability, and perhaps cost of use. Cost of use can be justified for highly reliable resources, because they require maintenance.

Related to use of physical resources

  • Consumables (glue, paper, screws) - Need to be replenished -
  • Usables (tools, equipment, space). Get worn in use, need maintenance or repairs. Space is treated a bit differently

They have costs associated with their creation, maintenance, storage, sharing or distribution, consumption, governance, etc.

They present a liability. Safety and security concerns, requires risk management (access restrictions by credentials, protocols of use), might require insurance. See more on Physical resource governance.

NOTE: include this parameter field in the NRP-CAS, 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.

Acquisition and distribution of funds

As a resource, funds are tangible, scarce and depletable. They are also seen as a vital resource, and in the traditional economy and whoever controls the funds controls the organisation. In a collaborative environment funds should be shared and administered according to clear and transparent rules, which should be adopted in advance in order to eliminate future conflicts. It is very important to maintain a good balance of power or influence, by putting in place provisions to avoid accumulation of power through accumulation of vital resources.

Two propositions have been recorded in Sensorica.

  1. No central budget: redistribute funds as soon as they are acquired to all active affiliates and stakeholders, based on a value equation, in proportion to their respective fluid equity. Let these active affiliates use it as they see fit.
  2. Budget with a forward-looking contribution accounting system: the funds are held by a trust (a custodian) and are redistributed based on a development plan, using budgeting and cost management tools. The role of the trust can be automated using blockchain-based smart contracts and escrow wallets for example.

add others if you are aware of...

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 proposed to form fundraising groups and fundraising ventures 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 ventures 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 regulated by the rules about 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/her.

Physical space

Physical spaces are part of the physical infrastructure.

Physical spaces can have various functions: storage, working, transit, etc. They possess features that make them more or less suitable for a particular process: size, location/proximity, accessibility, security, ventilation, layout or plan, etc. They can come under various property regimes: private (including shared ownership), shared, condominium.

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 proposed to create a venture 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 adopted by active affiliates. 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 ventures 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 ventures 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 ventures (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 venture, in the first, for all ventures).

One way to reward infrastructure development contributions is to calculate the market equivalent price (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, screws, ...)
  • 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, copper etching, marketing schemes, etc.)
  • publications (posts, articles, videos, ...)

Resource types and the NRP-CAS

In the NRP-CAS 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-CAS 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.

Resources and Blockchain

Representing material assets in the virtual space, in a way that is usable by open / permissionless networks.

A sea of material resources accessible by free agents in dynamic processes. Material assets need to be:

  • organization agnostic and capture resistant
  • allowing various property regimes, including nondominium (no one owns but everyone has access under certain rules)
  • shareable by default
    • location (traceability, search and find)
    • access control (governance, credentials, scheduling)
    • custody (responsibility)
    • maintenance (obligations)
  • fully specified: function, architecture, standards (dimensions, tolerances, quality), …
  • composable (aggregate into larger assets, even pools of shareables)
  • able to interact with processes, in events like: create, consume, use, contribute with)

See also

Pool of shareables

Resource type and resources