TRL6 is the stage at which technology has been proven to be viable and ready for product development, while TRL7 is the stage at which technology has been proven to be mature and ready for widespread deployment.
How to move from TRL 6 to TRL 7 in your product development project:
The key steps involved in moving from TRL 6 to TRL 7 are:
- Producing and testing multiple prototypes. To do so, you need to have a solid understanding of your technology and what is required to achieve commercial viability. You also need to be able 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. This means that your product needs to meet or exceed customer expectations in terms of performance, quality, and value.
- Ready to start product development. Once you have met the above criteria, you are ready to begin full-scale product development and bring your innovation to market.
- Documenting the maturity of your technology. This can be done through various means such as verification trials or documented hours invested in research and development.
Understand and address the challenges you may face along the way
There are certain 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 out outside funding or partnerships to help support your product development efforts.
- Lack of technical expertise. If you don’t have the necessary technical skills in-house, 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, make sure there is a market for your innovation rather than trusting that the market will materialize once your product is finished.
- Inability to produce a prototype that meets customer expectations. This can be a big 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. If customers don’t understand the value of your product, it will be difficult 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 established 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’re lacking in specific expertise, you may need to outsource those activities to other companies or individuals who have the necessary skills.