What is Technology Readiness Level?

Do you ever wonder how a technology is being assessed before it is ready for development or fit for commercialization? Technology Readiness Level (TRL) is an evaluation system used in many tech companies and agencies to gauge the maturity level of their technologies. Every technology in their program is usually rated using the nine technology readiness levels, with TRL 1 being the lowest and TRL 9 being the highest. Throughout its development, the technology is assigned a TRL rating using a systematic, parameter-based approach for assessing technology maturity.
Technology Readiness Level (TRL) was first developed in 1974 by Stan Sadin in NASA who told Ray Chase to evaluate the readiness of their proposed JPL Jupiter Orbiter spacecraft design. Since then, their methodology worked and was formally defined in 1989 as the TRL we know now. TRL became widely used in numerous industries and government organizations for the assessment of a technology, which can either be a material, device, component, or process. This type of assessment is based on an entire scale, from the invention of technology towards its commercialization and extensive application. TRL ratings (1-9) determine the extent of how a technology is near or far from its deployment to the public. Sequentially, the amount of resources, like its funds, time, intellectual potential, and facilities, are also being established to help bring the technology to life.
Why is a TRL necessary? The benefits of using a TRL for a particular technology boils down to knowing and understanding its status during its progress. If we are aware of how the technology is doing so far, then it will be easier to make decisions about how it will be developed and transitioned further to the next TRL. Aside from that, we will be able to identify and manage risks that may potentially occur if the methodology of TRL was not followed properly. For instance, you have an idea of a device to help the distribution of goods in your community. However, this is yet to be proven and researched. TRL helps you recognize the potential of your device and how more Research and Development (R&D) is still needed to yield an outcome that is either desirable or not. Now after the next few years, there is already enough research to prove the feasibility of your device. But, this is still not ready for use by the public, and so, more resources are necessary to improve your device. TRL gives you an evaluation about how ready it is for the users.
Because of its systematic approach and efficient system, a TRL is commonly taken by many agencies and organizations around the world as the foundation for new technologies to pass its development stages. The TRL rating reflects the state and condition of development for large-scale production and/or application. Evaluation of TRL and recent TRL projects shows the markets about the consumer readiness of the technology for wide market implementation. In addition, knowledge about TRL bridges developers and consumers by letting them know about the progress of research and the portfolio of technologies that are almost ready for industrial use.