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About Technology Readiness Levels

Why using TRLs?

Technology readiness level (TRL) scale was originally defined by NASA as “a type of measurement system used to assess the maturity level of a particular technology. TRL scale uses the parameter that evaluates the maturity of a technology according to a series of indicators that go from 1 (the basic principles are documented) to 9 (the technology is released, and industrial production is started”.

The TRL scale was introduced in EU funded projects in 2012 and is currently the point of reference for determining the development or maturity of a research and its readiness for the market uptake and potential investments.

TRL is useful to indicate the research project result’s TRL level and define what steps should be taken in order to bring the research result to the market.



How to define your TRL

Example from pharmaceutical industries

It is important to emphasize that the TRL scale is self-declared and it may differ from sector to sector. Find the pharma sectorial application of TRL scale applied to drug discovery process.

It spans the whole innovation process, from basic research activities and preclinical studies (TRL1-4), over investigational new drug application (TRL5), to clinical trials (TRL6-8) and product launch (TRL9).

Read more about drug discovery TRLs





Example from hardware and system technologies

In hardware and system technologies, research activities (TRL1-4) aim to deliver basic technological components that work together in a low fidelity environment. Development activities/prototyping (TRL5-7) facilitate transition towards expected behavior of the future product in realistic environment. Finally, innovation activities (TRL8-9) combine production configurations with desired fully-functional product.

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