Do you see any connection between Product Lifecycle Management and Public data? Actually, I do. I think, one of the PLM functions can be to bring publicly available information to people in manufacturing companies. It will allow better decision making.
I had a chance to see Google Public Data explorer. I found it interesting. The link to the tool is here. You can try it out or watch the video.
My conclusion. I recommend to bookmark this tool. It can bring useful data.