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Eligibility of technology readiness levels (TRL)

Technology readiness levels (TRL) are a type of measurement system used to assess the maturity level of a particular technology. A technology project is evaluated against the parameters for each technology level and can then be assigned a TRL rating based on the projects progress.

There are nine technology readiness levels. TRL 1 is the lowest and TRL 9 is the highest.

STFC uses TRL to help determine whether a project or proposal is suitable for a specific funding opportunity, where relevant, guidance for that opportunity will state which TLRs are eligible.

The TRL levels and definitions are as follows:

  • TRL 1: basic principles observed and reported
  • TRL 2: technology concept or application formulated
  • TRL 3: analytical and experimental critical function or characteristic proof-of-concept
  • TRL 4: technology basic validation in a laboratory environment
  • TRL 5: technology basic validation in a relevant environment
  • TRL 6: technology model or prototype demonstration in a relevant environment
  • TRL 7: technology prototype demonstration in an operational environment
  • TRL 8: actual technology completed and qualified through test and demonstration
  • TRL 9: actual technology qualified through successful mission operations.

Last updated: 24 May 2022

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