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Product Readiness Level Explainer Chart

A product readiness level comparison chart is a handy reference tool that can compare the different levels of technology readiness, manufacturing readiness, enterprise readiness, and commercial readiness for a given product. The technology readiness level (TRL) is a measure of the maturity of a given technology. It is typically used to assess the risks associated with adopting new technology. The manufacturing readiness level (MRL) measures the maturity of a manufacturing process. It is generally used to evaluate the risks associated with ramping up production of a new product. The enterprise readiness level (ERL) measures the maturity of an enterprise's ability to support a new product or service. It is typically used to assess the risks associated with deploying a new product or service. Finally, the commercial readiness level (CRL) measures the market demand for a new product or service. It is typically used to assess the potential return on investment for launching a new product or service.

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Product Readiness Level Explainer Chart
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FAQs

Product Readiness Level (PRL) Finance Stages Market Stages Deliverables Measurements Note Technology Readiness (TRL) Manufacturing Readiness (MRL) Commercial Readiness (CRL) Enterprise Readiness (ERL)
PRL 1 The Goal - and the roadmap Founders / FFF Round Proof of Market Define the needs (performance and cost)

Define the step, stretch and leap targets

Define the science and engineering challenges / key questions
Assess the technology against the global challenges and where and how it can resonate with key goals.

Based on market engagement around the services needed, set the solution step, stretch and leap target and the expectations for a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) (characteristics aggressively tested with customers), as well as possible barriers to adoption.

Define the key scientific principles to demonstrate that the concept can work

Specify the engineering challenges to be overcome to meet the targets and the work involved

Identify fundamental barriers such as materials scarcity

Identify potential IP blocks
These become the metrics for managing the product development programme as well as the investment flow required.

It also starts to identify what are the core proprietary building blocks (where you can capture IP and should invest) and what are the catalogue or partners' components and sub-systems (where you should look for partners)
TRL 1
MRL 1 CRL 1 ERL 1
TRL 2 CRL 2
PRL 2 Concept viability / lab demonstration Start up / Pre-seed Proof of Concept Prove the science and key sub-systems

Confirm the roadmap to a commercially viable product.
Key novel sub-systems / components demonstrated at a university or at the start up's lab

Performance modelling using robust data and analysis

Defined the current level of engineering risk

Basic picture of how the innovation will be manufactured established

Key partnerships necessary for product delivery identified

Costs identified for controlled environment prototype build

Relevant IP lodged
TRL 3
TRL 4 MRL 2 CRL 3 ERL 2
PRL 3 Product Viability Seed Prototype A first prototype Whole system demonstrated in a controlled environment, i.e. proving ground or appropriate external test facility

Defined route to required performance but still significant engineering/design changes to come

Majority of manufacturing processes have been defined and characterised

Good handle on costs and risk register

Relevant new IP captured and lodged
TRL 5 MRL 3 CRL 4
PRL 4 Product in a Book / (Product defined) Development Multiple Trials Patents, designs and know-how codified so that the unit can be reproduced and if necessary, scaled Whole system close to final design tested in a representative environment (e.g. customer or simulated customer)

All of the building block technologies are shown to work at the required performance level using calibrated and certified measurement system

Manufacturing processes and supply chains capable of producing repeatable prototypes exist and a programme has been identified to work towards delivery of the product at the right price point and volume to meet business plan targets

Key partnerships secured
TRL 6 MRL 4 CRL 5 ERL 3
PRL 5 Minimum Viable Product (MVP) Revenue but Pre-profit Demand Pull The simplest product you can build that delivers customer value (even if niche)

Full commercial trials leading to first sales
Overall product is shown to meet the specific technical performance targets as set by customer dialogue

Repeatable production / assembly process to lead to a low volume production line validated for quality, cost, and rate

Putting product into market to prove technology and capture real customer feedback (first adopters bought it, not simply been given it)

Roadmap to full (mainstream market) specification of functionality and cost
TRL 7 MRL 5 CRL 6 ERL 4
PRL 6 Factory in a Book (Volume Product sales commence) Growth Volume Codified knowledge on supplier requirements, assembly processes etc plus major preferred supplied "ready to go" into industrialisation to support growth sales The product meeting broader market expectation has been tested extensively to prove its durability to a point where servicing and warranty requirements can be met and product can be sold with transfer of title. Transition to volume manufacturing begins having confirmed its viability in detail TRL 8 MRL 6 CRL 7 ERL 5
PRL 7 Portfolio Expansion Multiple Product or Applications Volume sales, multiple products / applications Design and manufacturing processes fully adopted enabling continuous improvement and cost reduction

Secondary products to be rapidly launched into early adopters
TRL 9 MRL 7 CRL 8
MRL 8
MRL 9

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