Case Study

Technology Readiness Levels at a Glance

Various federal agencies- and especially the Department of Defense- use the Technology and Manufacturing Readiness Level systems to gauge the conceptual or commercial maturity of the proposals that they receive.

The Technology Readiness Level (TRL) system is used to gauge technological maturity along nine different levels; this metric takes factors such as foundational concepts, demonstrable capabilities, and feasibility into account:

TRL 9     End-product proven in an operational environment

TRL 8     System completion and qualification

TRL 7     Prototype demonstration in an operational environment

TRL 6     Model demonstration in a relevant environment

TRL 5     Validation in an operational environment

TRL 4     Validation in a laboratory environment

TRL 3     Experimental proof of concept

TRL 2     Technology concept and/or application formulated

TRL 1     Basic principles observed and reported

Manufacturing Readiness Levels (MRLs) are used in a similar capacity as TRLs, although they are generally applied in the context of supplier and industrial assessments as opposed to technological maturity:

MRL 9   Capability to begin full-rate production

MRL 8   Capability to begin low-rate production

MRL 7   Capability to manufacture final system and components

MRL 6   Capability to manufacture prototype system

MRL 5   Capability to manufacture prototype components

MRL 4   Capability to produce the technology in a laboratory

MRL 3   Manufacturing proof of concept

MRL 2   Manufacturing concepts identified

MRL 1   Basic manufacturing implications identified

McAllister & Quinn has experience navigating and guiding projects across all TRLs and MRLs and uses this sophisticated understanding to best identify target programs for clients and collaborate their concepts and goals with the federal offices who manage them.