How to Determine if Your Tech is Ready for Launch: Understanding Technology Readiness Levels

Technology readiness level (TRL) is a term used to determine the development and maturity of technology-based products or systems. It is a measurement of how close the technology is to being ready for practical use. Understanding the concept of TRL is a critical aspect of developing and launching successful products. In this blog post, we will explore TRL and how it impacts product development.

The TRL system is a scale of 1 to 9, with 1 being the lowest level of technology readiness and 9 being the highest. When a technology is at level 1, it is still in the idea stage, and there is no tangible evidence available to prove that the technology is feasible. As the technology moves up the scale, the evidence becomes more tangible, until at level 9, the technology is fully mature and ready for commercialization.

At the early stages of development, technologies are often highly risky and may require significant investments. This is why investors and stakeholders assess technologies at the different TRL levels to determine if they are worth considering for investment. For instance, venture capitalists are reluctant to invest in companies whose products are still at the early stages of development.

Technology readiness level is also crucial when applying for research grants or contracts. Granting agencies and institutions use the TRL system to assess the level of probability of success for a proposal. In most cases, the higher the TRL of a proposed technology, the easier it is to acquire funding.

For companies that are developing products, understanding TRL provides a roadmap to launch. The different TRL levels help companies assess the state of their technology at different stages of development. When the technology reaches the higher levels of the TRL scale, the company can begin to start thinking about patenting, commercialization, scaling up, and launching the product.

In conclusion, technology readiness level is a critical aspect of product development. It provides a means of assessing the maturity of technology at different stages of development, and it helps companies and investors identify promising technologies for investment. Entrepreneurs and startups should always be mindful of TRL when developing new products or technologies. Understanding TRL can provide a competitive advantage in the crowded tech marketplace.