Technology readiness levels

Technology readiness levels are levels on a scale that can be used for estimating the maturity of a given technology. There are nine levels, which each represent a state in the development of technology, from the first thoughts to the final technology.
TRL 1: Basic principles observed
  • Identification of new concept and its integration, expected barriers, and applications.
  • Identification of materials and technologies based on theory.
  • Evaluation of potential benefits of the new concept over existing ones.
TRL 2: Technology concept formulated
  • Enhanced knowledge on technologies, materials, and interfaces.
  • New concept is investigated and refined.
  • First evaluation about the feasibility.
  • Initial numerical knowledge.
  • Qualitative description of interactions between technologies.
  • Prototyping approach and preliminary technical specifications for laboratory test are defined.
TRL 3: Experimental proof of concept
  • First laboratory scale prototype or numerical model.
  • Laboratory tests of the technological element, but not the whole integrated system.
  • Identification of key parameters characterising the technology.
  • Verification of the proof of concept through simulation tools and cross-validation with literature data (if applicable).
TRL 4: Technology validated in lab
  • Small-scale prototype integrated with complementing subsystems at laboratory level.
  • Validation of the new technology through enhanced numerical analysis (if applicable).
  • Measurable Key Performance Indicators.
  • Prototype shows stable performance (either TRL4 or TRL5, depending on the technology)
TRL 5: Technology validated in relevant environment
  • Large scale prototype integrated with components of supporting elements and auxiliaries.
  • Robustness is proven in relevant working environment.
  • Prototype shows stable performance (either TRL4 or TRL5, de- pending on the technology).
  • The process is reliable, and performances live up to expectations (either TRL5 or TRL6, depending on the technology).
  • Other parameters concerning scale-up, environmental, regulatory, and socio-economic issues are defined and qualitatively assessed.
TRL 6: Technology pilot demonstrated in relevant environment
  • Demonstration of the technology is fine-tuned to a variety of operating conditions in relevant environment.
  • The process is reliable, and the performances live up to the expectations (either TRL5 or TRL6, depending on the technology).
  • Demonstration of interoperability with other connected technologies.
  • Manufacturing approach is defined (either TRL6 or TRL7, depending on the technology).
  • Environmental, regulatory, and socio-economic issues are addressed.
TRL 7: System prototype demonstration in operational environment
  • Full scale pre-commercial system is demonstrated in operational environment.
  • Compliancy with relevant environment conditions, authorisation issues, local/national standards is guaranteed.
  • Integration of upstream and downstream technologies are verified and validated.
  • Manufacturing approach is defined (either TRL6 or TRL7, depending on the technology).
TRL 8: System complete and qualified
  • Technology has been experimented in deployment conditions and proven its functioning in its final form.
  • Manufacturing process is stable enough for a low-rate production.
  • Training and maintenance documentation are completed.
  • Integration at system level is completed.
  • Full compliance with obligations, certifications, and standards of the addressed markets.
TRL 9: System proven in operational environment
  • Technology proven fully operational and ready to be commercialised.
  • Full production chain is in place and all materials are available.
  • System optimised for full rate production.

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