Assessing Technology Readiness Level

Sometimes, it is simple to observe the maturity and goodness of a product by matching the performance and desired characteristics through a scale. TRL is one of the widely acknowledged indicators that help to measure the effectiveness of innovation, whether it is a product, service, or technology. 
The system has its origin from NASA back in the 1970s. The technology readiness scale has 9 prominent levels that help different business organizations such as start-ups, development firms, design formation, to measure whether the innovation will benefit the business or not. It is essential to make sure that it matches the lifecycle of TRL to qualify for consumer consumption. 
Most people say that if you can accomplish the level 6 of the TRL, your innovation is considered as a good one. 

The TRL is broadly categorized into three parts; namely, knowledge development, technology development, and business development. These three steps carry immense importance in determining resource allocation, risk management, and project development. The investors, government officials, and international organizations use it as a tool to analyze the forecasted or current schedule, project performance, and budgeting of the work in progress. 
To start exploring these levels, few things should be understood by the researcher. 

Disciplines of innovation assessments
  • The testing should be carried on a new product, service, or technology. 
  • A person is likely to experience many uncertainties, probabilities, and risks in its innovation. 
  • The hierarchy of organization involves researched and experimented decision making, scientific applications, and an organized and systemized entrepreneurship.
  • The personnel should believe in the progressive approach towards developing a product, service, or technology. 
  • It is wise to formulate cross-functional teams to perform in-depth research, development, and experiments, rather than appointing each individual for each task. 
  • Be precise about the basic research and how this research will form the end product. It should be closely related to what was in your mind initially. 
  • Be knowledgeable about the product features, business model, and what is the overall value attached to every stage of the development. 
  • This level system is not applicable in assessing the likeability, innovativeness, complexity of the technology in progress.
  • TRL is applicable for both technological as well as non-technological innovations.   

TRL- let’s assess  
The knowledge development stage consists of the first three TRLs. This stage is also known as the research stage. 
This is the stage when a new idea popped up into your mind while doing random stuff. This is the TRL 1 stage, the basic idea. For example, ou just got an idea new synthetic rubber compound while playing in the lab. 
Now, its time to move to the next level. 
At this level, its time to convert the basic idea or principle of technology into a practical demonstration theory. For example, let’s incorporate these synthetic rubbers with a tire.
As soon as you are done with the formulation of practical application, now it is time to test your hypothesis with various experiments and variables. In this step, the technology is tested for its strength and whether it is eligible to perform the function that is desired from it. The data is evaluated and reported in the form of graphical representations, collected from all the experiments. For example, the rubber is tested for strength and forming capabilities to be converted into a tire.   

Next is the technology development stage that contains the next three levels. In this stage, a prototype of the technology is further tested when shaped into an innovation.
In TRL 4, the prototype is further tested in the laboratory. For example, now let’s test rubber if it has appropriate capacity such as temperature tolerance, durability, etc, by giving various experimental conditions.
Ok, so it is important to see whether the integrated system in which you are working is inclined with the prototype. This is done at level 5. For example, use the rubber to construct a prototype tire and test on a wheel.
Let’s give an operational environment to test the prototype. This is done at level 6. For example, mount the tire on a wheel and run the test on a bumpy road.

The final stage is the business development stage that is based on the last three TRL levels. 
Now, the design has hit the completion stage.
The final testing should be done in real-life conditions. This is done after you have successfully reached the TRL7 stage. 
Congratulations, the technology has passed all the tests and is certified to be used in the expected conditions. Unless it is certified, it will not be allowed to work in business organizations legally. For example, test the tire on a vehicle on the road. This is a legal act. 
After the successful lifecycle test of the innovation, it is now ready to be used for commercial purposes. It is right to say that innovation is safe to use in commercial developments. For example, the final test through the life cycle in commercial deployment. Final testing on a racing car on the track. 

The higher levels mean that they are ready to be displayed in the markets for people to use it. Such as, ready for the vendors of the market to be distributed for commercial purposes. 

Conclusively, the TRL approach provides precision, data, and authenticity to complete the innovation process without any difficulty. It is the best approach for businesses, entrepreneurs, and other design departments to bring a positive change in the technology industry.