Usage Areas of Technology Readiness Levels (TRL)

Technology Readiness Levels (TRL), a method to determine the effectiveness of technology, has been popular across research and development, startup ecosystem, and manufacturing sector among others, we're evaluating the maturity of a newly introduced or recently adopted technology is critical.  The method provides engineers and entrepreneurs an opportunity to have a steady datum of reference to comprehend technology evolution, no matter what technical background they have. Ranking the technological development between the scale of 1 to 9, where 9 is the most matured technology, TRL leads to logical and consistent discussions of tech maturity across various technology types, and across various usage areas. This article talks about some of those usage areas where TRLs have played a key role in the development and efficiency perspectives. 

TRL in Research & Development
The development of high-end tech systems is largely dependent on the effectively synchronized individual technologies involved. The sub-optimal or poorly synchronized technologies lead to scheduling, performance, and monetary consequences. Evaluation of the readiness of all involved individual technologies helps reduce risks associated with financials and planning. Observation, being the initial point for the TRL scale development, is the key driver for TRL usage in R&D planning. An example case is of Department of Health & Human Services, USA , where TRL scale was used to evaluate and plan the process to examine the drug maturity and enable communication about the specific drug’s status. Moreover, if you are a person with no commercialization interest, you may use TRLs to establish your research focus, for instance, the TRL 1-3 means you are probably a theoretician involved in abstract concepts. 

TRL in Startups
TRL is heavily used by stakeholders involved in the development of any new kind of technology startup (whether software or hardware), product, or even service. TRL is relied upon to determine business maturity. Today's startup investors tend to set their threshold TRL, without which, they don't engage their investments. The TRL scale helps stakeholders trace and tailor their strategy towards bigger integration, which translates into effective implementation in terms of the project timeline, performance, and budget. The scale also helps reduce risks, ensure efficient resource allocation, and timely project coordination. For instance, for a startup, involved in introducing a new product, TRL shows how close they are to ship their product, letting them track their startup in a spectrum between a concept on a paper and a functional product existing in the market.  

TRL in Manufacturing Sector
The manufacturing operations and risk evaluations, though maybe well-handled and structured, they often don't use uniform means to quantify and communicate the perils and preparation of the manufacturing. The MRLs (Manufacturing Readiness Levels), correlated with TRLs, help manage the risks involved in manufacturing while enhancing the capacity of tech development projects to adapt to innovative technology. With scale 1 to 10, MRL serves as a measuring scale to assess the maturity of manufacturing risks.  Key relevant areas that must be considered include materials, reproducibility, processes, scheduling and cost, workforce training, and facility readiness and availability.

Concluding Words
TRL system presents a stepwise staging mechanism that enables the development of a rationale, effective, disciplined, and metrics-driven technology's evaluation, scaling, planning, and de-risking, which bears critical importance for the above-mentioned usage areas to succeed.