Technology Readiness Level (TRL)
your123 @ stock.adobe.com
Yasmim Seadi @ Envisioning
Yasmim Seadi @ Envisioning
What Is It?
Technology Readiness Level (TRL) is a metric that shows the development stage of a technology application. It ranges from 1 to 9; the higher the ranking, the more technically ready. Technology applications can be, at the same time, scientifically ready (TRL 9) but not yet widespread throughout the globe.
TRL 9: Technology is operative and demonstrates considerable market competition among industries.
TRL 8: Technology is developed and qualified. It is readily available for implementation but the market is not entirely familiar with the technology.
TRL 7: Prototype is fully demonstrated in operational environment.
TRL 6: Prototype is fully functional and ready for testing in industrially relevant environment.
TRL 5: Validation is conducted in relevant environments, where simulations are carried out as close to realistic circumstances.
TRL 4: Experimental analyses are no longer required as multiple component pieces are tested and validated altogether in a lab environment.
TRL 3: Research is considered viable and ready for further development after experimental analysis of the technology concept.
TRL 2: Research is scrutinized and correlations to practical applications are applied to initial scientific observations. No experimental proof of concept is available yet.
TRL 1: Initial scientific observations are rendered into research and development.
Since the TRL can be difficult to comprehend at first glance, Envisioning has grouped TRL scores into categories so readers can easily associate them with certain stages of technology development (concept, proof-of-concept, prototype, and product).
How Did We Get To It?
NASA created the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) to evaluate space technologies, and Envisioning has adapted it in order to accurately assess the technology applications added to our database. Throughout the years, our team of researchers have periodically documented the development of technologies, constantly updating their TRL, and generating more accurate associations.
How Can You Use It?
Filter technology applications that are too incipient for your project's timeframe.
Filter technology applications that are too mainstream for your long-term innovation pipeline.
Compare the TRL of your favourite technology applications.
Compare more developed technology applications with less readily available alternatives. Can early-stage technologies completely debunk current applications? Maybe it is better to think twice and wait, instead of investing in today's mainstream hype (You would not want to buy a Discman right before the launch of the iPod).
Use it in addition to other metrics to help decision-making.