Researchers Share Useful Lessons Learned in Evaluating Emerging Technologies

Read the full story in NIST TechBeat.

Most industry executives, military planners, research managers or venture capitalists charged with assessing the potential of an R&D project probably are familiar with the wry twist on Arthur C. Clarke’s third law*: “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from a rigged demo.”

After serving for five years as independent evaluators of emerging military technologies nurtured by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), a team from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) shares critical “lessons learned” that can help businesses and others negotiate the promises and pitfalls encountered when pushing the technology envelope to enable new capabilities.

Writing in the International Journal of Intelligent Control and Systems,** the NIST researchers also describe the evaluative framework they devised for judging the performance of a system and its components as well as the utility of the technology for the intended user. Called SCORE (System, Component, and Operationally Relevant Evaluations), the framework is a unified set of criteria and software tools for evaluating emerging technologies from different perspectives and levels of detail and at various stages of development.

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