How to increase the Technical Readiness Level (TRL) of your product development project

Learning Centre > How to increase the Technical Readiness Level (TRL) of your product development project

This blog post will discuss the process and benefits that come from having a well-defined TRL system.

This blog post will discuss the process and benefits that come from having a well-defined TRL system.This blog post will discuss the process and benefits that come from having a well-defined TRL system.
Contents

How to move from TRL 1 to TRL 2 in your product development project:

TRL1 is the initial level of technology readiness, while TRL2 is the next level of readiness. At TRL2, you have started to apply R&D to your basic scientific principles and identified your first applications. You may have also conducted experiments to test the suitability of those applications. However, you still need to evidence your progress. You can do this through 3rd party verified test data or published academic papers.

The key steps involved in moving from TRL 1 to TRL 2 are:

There are specific challenges you may face when trying to reach TRL2. These can include:

‍How to move from TRL 2 to TRL 3 in your product development project:

TRL3 is the point where technology is proven to work in some relevant environments. However, it may still require some refinement before being used in practice. TRL2 is where you have identified technology and conducted experiments to test its feasibility for specific applications.

The key steps involved in moving from TRL 2 to TRL 3 are:

‍There are particular challenges you may face when trying to reach TRL3. These can include:

‍Reaching TRL3 is a significant milestone in any research and development project, but it is not always easy to achieve. However, by understanding the key steps involved and the challenges you may face, you can put yourself in a better position to make progress and reach this important goal.

How to move from TRL 3 to TRL 4 in your product development project:

TRL4 means that you have completed the integration and testing of the technology into its first application. Finally, TRL3 implies that you have conducted analysis or experiments to predict future performance and tested subsystems or components in the lab.

The key steps involved in moving from TRL 3 to TRL 4 are:

There are particular challenges you may face when trying to reach TRL4. These can include:

Please make sure you know these possible challenges and have contingencies in place so that they don't hold up your project.

How to move from TRL 4 to TRL 5 in your product development project:

TRL4 is where you have proven the technology to work in a controlled environment, while TRL5 is where you have confirmed it has to work in a real-world setting. To achieve TRL5, you need to have demonstrated that the technology works in an acceptable way to your customers; you can do this through trials or other customer feedback forms.

The key steps involved in moving from TRL 4 to TRL 5 are:

To move from TRL 4 to TRL 5, you must demonstrate that the technology works in an acceptable way to your customers.

There are specific challenges you may face when trying to reach TRL5. These can include:

Addressing the challenges, you face along the way can be difficult. Still, it is essential to remember that they are not insurmountable. By planning and allocating the necessary resources, you should be able to overcome any challenges that stand in your way.

How to move from TRL 5 to TRL 6 in your product development project:

TRL5 is when you integrate your technology into a system that simulates the plans it will be integrated into in the real world. TRL6 is when you have produced a complete prototype. The whole system performance shows that your application was viable.

The key steps involved in moving from TRL 5 to TRL 6 are:

To move from TRL 5 to TRL6, you must also be able to evidence the success of your trials. You could do this through customer feedback, data gathered from the tests themselves, or other reporting mechanisms.

There are specific challenges you may face when trying to reach TRL6. These can include:

Moving from TRL 5 to TRL 6 can be a daunting task, but it's achievable with the proper preparation and planning. By understanding the key steps involved and the challenges you may face along the way, you'll be well to reach the final stage of product development.

How to move from TRL 6 to TRL 7 in your product development project:

TRL6 is when you prove the technology viable and ready for product development. At the same time, TRL7 is the stage at which you demonstrate that the technology is mature and ready for widespread deployment.

The key steps involved in moving from TRL 6 to TRL 7 are:

There are particular challenges you may face when trying to reach TRL7. These can include:

How to move from TRL 7 to TRL 8 in your product development project:

TRL7 is the stage at which technology has been tested and proven to work in a prototype form. Finally, TRL8 is the stage at which you demonstrate the technology to work in a commercial setting, with all the necessary durability and performance requirements in place.

The key steps involved in moving from TRL 7 to TRL 8 are:

There are specific challenges you may face when trying to reach TRL8. These can include:

How to move from TRL 8 to TRL 9 in your product development project:

TRL8 is when you prove technology to work and be durable in a commercial setting. Finally, TRL9 is the point at which technology is in production in commercial volumes.

The key steps involved in moving from TRL 8 to TRL 9 are:

When moving from TRL 8 to TRL 9, it's essential to consider how your technology compares to others in terms of maturity. You may need to do additional work to bring your technology up to par with the best in the industry.

There are specific challenges you may face when trying to reach TRL9. These can include:

‍TRL9 is the point where you have a commercial product in volume production. Manufacturing a product verifies that the technology works and is reliable.

How to move from TRL 9 to TRL 10 in your product development project:

TRL10 is the point where your technology is replicated across several applications. In addition, you have extensive warranty data that confirm that performance and durability meet targets in the real world.

The key steps involved in moving from TRL 9 to TRL 10 are:

There are specific challenges you may face when trying to reach TRL10. These can include:


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How to move from TRL 1 to TRL 2 in your product development project:

TRL1 is the initial level of technology readiness, while TRL2 is the next level of readiness. At TRL2, you have started to apply R&D to your basic scientific principles and identified your first applications. You may have also conducted experiments to test the suitability of those applications. However, you still need to evidence your progress. You can do this through 3rd party verified test data or published academic papers.

The key steps involved in moving from TRL 1 to TRL 2 are:

  • Identify the first applications. This means figuring out how to apply your technology in the real world.
  • Conduct experiments to test the suitability of those applications. Depending on your product, you can carry these out in a lab setting or in the field.
  • Evidence of your progress. You can do this through 3rd party verified test data or published academic papers.‍

There are specific challenges you may face when trying to reach TRL2. These can include:

  • Finding suitable applications for your technology. This can be difficult if you don't have much experience in the industry you're working in. Find a partner who can help you with application identification; this could be another company or an organisation that focuses on helping startups.
  • Developing a product that is suitable for those applications. This can be difficult if your technology is still in its early stages of development. Develop a prototype that you can test in the field; this will help you test your product's suitability for the identified applications.
  • Obtaining evidence that a third party can verify. This can be difficult if your experiments are still in the early stages or if you don't have any data to share yet. Share your progress with others in the industry; this will help you get feedback from people familiar with your challenges; this does come with a warning around IP however: be sure to protect your ideas!

‍How to move from TRL 2 to TRL 3 in your product development project:

TRL3 is the point where technology is proven to work in some relevant environments. However, it may still require some refinement before being used in practice. TRL2 is where you have identified technology and conducted experiments to test its feasibility for specific applications.

The key steps involved in moving from TRL 2 to TRL 3 are:

  • Conducting analysis or experiments aimed at predicting future performance. You need to understand how the technology is likely to behave in different scenarios to do this.
  • Testing any subsystems or components in the lab. This helps verify that they meet the required specifications and are ready for use in a practical setting.
  • Evidence of your progress. You can do this through 3rd party verified test data or published academic papers.

‍There are particular challenges you may face when trying to reach TRL3. These can include:

  • Obtaining funding and resources to continue the project. It is crucial to have a clear roadmap and milestones that you can use to justify the investment.
  • Developing a prototype that is ready for testing in a real-world setting. This can be difficult since it often necessitates a significant investment of time and money. To overcome this problem, you'll need to have a clear strategy for how the prototype will be built and tested.
  • Ensuring that the technology meets the required standards for use in practice. This can be difficult as there may be several factors to consider, such as safety, reliability, and efficiency. To address this challenge, you'll need to understand the technology and the application it will be used and have the ability to communicate this to others.

‍Reaching TRL3 is a significant milestone in any research and development project, but it is not always easy to achieve. However, by understanding the key steps involved and the challenges you may face, you can put yourself in a better position to make progress and reach this important goal.

How to move from TRL 3 to TRL 4 in your product development project:

TRL4 means that you have completed the integration and testing of the technology into its first application. Finally, TRL3 implies that you have conducted analysis or experiments to predict future performance and tested subsystems or components in the lab.

The key steps involved in moving from TRL 3 to TRL 4 are:

  • Testing the more extensive subsystems in the lab. You must first grasp the application engineering needs - what is required to integrate the technology into its first application.
  • Validation of these systems for the application you are targeting. The first application of new technology requires an in-depth examination of the product's requirements and specifications. You'll need to figure out what to do to ensure that the technology works as expected in its initial implementation. For example, you may need to perform environmental testing to ensure the technology can function in the desired conditions.
  • Identifying what you need to do to integrate the technology into its first application. You'll need to understand the technology's requirements and specifications clearly.
  • Developing a plan for reaching TRL 4. Once you know what you need to do to achieve validation and get TRL4, you can create a roadmap for completing these tasks.

There are particular challenges you may face when trying to reach TRL4. These can include:

  • Lack of access to a suitable testing environment. To address this, you may need to create a makeshift lab or find a partner who can provide access to the necessary resources.
  • Lack of technical expertise. Suppose you're having difficulty completing validation and integration tasks. In that case, you may need to hire additional team members with the required skills. Consider looking for outside assistance or materials to assist you with your project to address this problem.
  • Time and budget constraints. All product development projects face limitations in terms of time and money. However, it's essential to be realistic about what you can achieve within the given timeframe and ensure all tasks are aligned with the overall goal of reaching TRL 4 and addressing any potential bottlenecks.
  • Inability to test all subsystems and components. In some cases, you may not be able to test every subsystem and component due to time or budget constraints. In these situations, it's crucial to prioritise the most critical elements and ensure that you validate them through testing.

Please make sure you know these possible challenges and have contingencies in place so that they don't hold up your project.

How to move from TRL 4 to TRL 5 in your product development project:

TRL4 is where you have proven the technology to work in a controlled environment, while TRL5 is where you have confirmed it has to work in a real-world setting. To achieve TRL5, you need to have demonstrated that the technology works in an acceptable way to your customers; you can do this through trials or other customer feedback forms.

The key steps involved in moving from TRL 4 to TRL 5 are:

  • Test the technology with customers or in a simulated customer environment. First, you must define your target market and locate people interested in testing the technology. You must develop a test environment that mimics how consumers will use the technology in reality. For example, suppose you are creating a new life jacket. In that case, you might put it through its paces in a pool with a wave machine with people wearing different clothes to see how well it works.
  • Integrate the technology into a system that simulates the methods it will be integrated into in the real world. Further to testing the technology in a simulated user environment, you must also try it in a simulated real-world environment. You can do this by integrating the technology into a physical system that replicates how consumers will use it. For example, suppose you are developing a new life jacket. In that case, you might put it through its paces in an icy pool with a wave machine that simulates the waves and currents found in the North Sea.
  • Evaluate the results of the trials. After testing the technology in both a simulated and real-world environment, you must analyse the results to see if it is viable for commercialisation. This evaluation should include meaningful feedback from both customers and testers.

To move from TRL 4 to TRL 5, you must demonstrate that the technology works in an acceptable way to your customers.

There are specific challenges you may face when trying to reach TRL5. These can include:

  • Defining the target market and locating people interested in testing the technology. This can be difficult, as you need to find people who are both willing and able to test your technology and represent your target market. To address this challenge, you might consider using focus groups or conducting surveys. For example, you could survey people who work in a particular industry to see if they would be interested in using your technology.
  • Developing a test environment that mimics how consumers will use the technology in reality. This can be difficult, as creating a realistic testing environment is often expensive and time-consuming. You may need to enlist the help of experts to create an accurate simulation, or you may need to create a virtual environment that replicates the real world.
  • Evaluating the results of the trials. This can be difficult, as you need to analyse many data to determine whether the technology is viable for commercialisation. You may need to employ experts to help you with this analysis.

Addressing the challenges, you face along the way can be difficult. Still, it is essential to remember that they are not insurmountable. By planning and allocating the necessary resources, you should be able to overcome any challenges that stand in your way.

How to move from TRL 5 to TRL 6 in your product development project:

TRL5 is when you integrate your technology into a system that simulates the plans it will be integrated into in the real world. TRL6 is when you have produced a complete prototype. The whole system performance shows that your application was viable.

The key steps involved in moving from TRL 5 to TRL 6 are:

  • Produce a complete prototype. You must first have a thorough understanding of all technical constraints and then create a prototype that meets those demands.
  • Test the prototype in a simulated user environment. This will help you verify that the technology meets customer needs and is ready for full-scale deployment in the real world.

To move from TRL 5 to TRL6, you must also be able to evidence the success of your trials. You could do this through customer feedback, data gathered from the tests themselves, or other reporting mechanisms.

There are specific challenges you may face when trying to reach TRL6. These can include:

  • Lack of funding. Prototypes are often expensive to create, and many businesses may not have the financial means. It's critical to establish a plan for how you'll finance and carry out the prototype.
  • Lack of technical expertise. It's tough to create a prototype from the ground up and may require the assistance of other professionals. It's critical to have a clear plan for who will be in command of what aspects of the prototype creation process.
  • Lack of time. Building a prototype in a short amount of time might be difficult. You'll need a clear timeline and milestones to keep you on track to overcome this.

Moving from TRL 5 to TRL 6 can be a daunting task, but it's achievable with the proper preparation and planning. By understanding the key steps involved and the challenges you may face along the way, you'll be well to reach the final stage of product development.

How to move from TRL 6 to TRL 7 in your product development project:

TRL6 is when you prove the technology viable and ready for product development. At the same time, TRL7 is the stage at which you demonstrate that the technology is mature and ready for widespread deployment.

The key steps involved in moving from TRL 6 to TRL 7 are:

  • Producing and testing multiple prototypes. You need to have a solid understanding of your technology and what is required to achieve commercial viability. You also need to effectively communicate with all stakeholders, including customers, so that everyone understands the product and its value proposition.
  • Achieving commercially viable performance in that testing. Your product needs to meet or exceed customer expectations of performance, quality, and value.
  • Ready to start product development. Once you have met the above criteria, you can begin full-scale product development and bring your innovation to market.
  • Documenting the maturity of your technology. You can do this through various means such as verification trials or documented hours invested in research and development.

There are particular challenges you may face when trying to reach TRL7. These can include:

  • Lack of funding or support. To overcome this, you may need to seek outside funding or partnerships to help support your product development efforts.
  • Lack of technical expertise. Suppose you don't have the necessary technical skills in-house. In that case, you may need to bring on additional experts to help guide your project to success.
  • Lack of market demand. Before investing a lot of time and resources into product development, ensure a market for your innovation rather than trusting that the market will materialise once you finish your product.
  • Inability to produce a prototype that meets customer expectations. This can be a significant roadblock in reaching TRL7. Make sure you have a clear understanding of what is required to make your prototype successful and how to measure that success.
  • Unclear customer need or value proposition. Suppose customers don't understand the value of your product. In that case, it will be challenging to get them on board with your development efforts. Make sure you can articulate the value of your product in a way that resonates with customers.
  • Competing products with more conventional technologies. In this case, you will need to focus on developing a unique selling point for your product that sets it apart from the competition.
  • Lack of expertise or know-how in certain areas. If you lack specific expertise, you may need to outsource those activities to other companies or individuals who have the necessary skills.

How to move from TRL 7 to TRL 8 in your product development project:

TRL7 is the stage at which technology has been tested and proven to work in a prototype form. Finally, TRL8 is the stage at which you demonstrate the technology to work in a commercial setting, with all the necessary durability and performance requirements in place.

The key steps involved in moving from TRL 7 to TRL 8 are:

  • Test prototypes in a commercial setting. You need to find a customer or client willing to test your technology in their environment. These tests will give you the real-world data to prove that it works well and is ready for market.
  • Ensure durability and performance meet required levels. To complete this, you must evaluate the technology in various settings and ensure that it satisfies the necessary criteria. You and your team will pre-set these criteria based on what commercial success requires.
  • Refine the production design. Once you have data from the commercial testing, it's time to refine the production design, ensuring that the technology is ready for full-scale manufacture and all the requirements.
  • Freeze the production design. The final step is to freeze the production design. You've essentially finished the technology development. You can make no further modifications without disrupting or causing issues throughout the manufacturing process. You're ready to produce the technology in large quantities and suitable for commercialisation.

There are specific challenges you may face when trying to reach TRL8. These can include:

  • Lack of customer or client interest. Without a customer or client willing to test your technology, it can be challenging to move beyond TRL 7. You need real-world data to prove that the technology works and is ready for market. You may need to do more marketing or networking to find the right partners to overcome this.
  • Lack of data from commercial testing. Suppose you don't have much data from your prototypes in a commercial setting. It can be challenging to prove that the technology is ready for market. You can resolve this by doing more testing with different customers and clients.
  • Poor durability or performance. It's challenging to reach TRL 8 if your technology does not fulfil the required durability or performance level. You may address this by conducting more testing and evaluations to determine the problems and how to correct them.
  • Unable to freeze the production design. Suppose you cannot freeze the design for production because of modifications requested by the client or customer. It might be tough to go beyond TRL 7. You may address this problem by agreeing on a change freeze with the client or customer, ensuring that you make all changes before beginning production.

How to move from TRL 8 to TRL 9 in your product development project:

TRL8 is when you prove technology to work and be durable in a commercial setting. Finally, TRL9 is the point at which technology is in production in commercial volumes.

The key steps involved in moving from TRL 8 to TRL 9 are:

  • Increasing production volume. You can do this by scaling up production or finding new customers.
  • Verifying that the volume of products in use by your customers is significant. You can look at customer feedback, sales data, or user numbers.

When moving from TRL 8 to TRL 9, it's essential to consider how your technology compares to others in terms of maturity. You may need to do additional work to bring your technology up to par with the best in the industry.

There are specific challenges you may face when trying to reach TRL9. These can include:

  • Scaling up production. This can be difficult if you don't have the necessary resources; you may overcome this by partnering with a company with the required infrastructure or finding new investors.
  • Get your technology adopted by more customers. It might be tough to implement if you don't have a successful sales and marketing plan. You could need to spend money on customer outreach, public relations, and advertising.
  • Make sure your technology is on par with the best in the industry. This can be a daunting task, but it's essential to understand what's required to make your technology the best.

‍TRL9 is the point where you have a commercial product in volume production. Manufacturing a product verifies that the technology works and is reliable.

How to move from TRL 9 to TRL 10 in your product development project:

TRL10 is the point where your technology is replicated across several applications. In addition, you have extensive warranty data that confirm that performance and durability meet targets in the real world.

The key steps involved in moving from TRL 9 to TRL 10 are:

  • Replicate your technology across several applications. You need to find new applications or partners willing to use your technology to do this.
  • Extensively test your technology in the real world. This means testing it in different environments and under other conditions. You need to make sure it performs well and is durable.
  • Gather data on performance and durability. This data should confirm that your technology meets its target goals in the real world. To get this data, you need to track customer usage and feedback.
  • Demonstrate extensive warranty data that confirm performance and durability meet target in the real world. This will show that your technology is reliable and that customers are happy with it.

There are specific challenges you may face when trying to reach TRL10. These can include:

  • You are developing a technology that competitors can replicate across several applications. This can be not easy if your technology is specific to a particular industry or application.
  • You are testing your technology in the real world. This can be expensive and time-consuming. To overcome this, you need to have a clear plan for how you will test your technology.
  • You are gathering data on performance and durability. This can be difficult if you do not have access to the correct data or if it is hard to track customer usage and feedback.
  • Demonstrating extensive warranty data that confirm performance and durability meet targets in the real world. This can be not easy if your technology has not been tested extensively in the real world.


Key Takeways