Introduction to the Market & Technology Readiness Level Framework
The Market & Technology Readiness Level (“MTRL”) framework aims to provide decision makers with a holistic view of a project’s maturity in a simple way - with a single score. It offers decision makers a faster way to assess, measure and support technology projects.
This method has been developed with my stellar colleagues Michel Drescher from Oxford University e-Research Centre and Frank Bennett at Cloud Industry Forum, and was originally used to help 3 European R&I projects in cloud software and security in 2016.
By adopting the MTRL framework R&I projects can benefit from:
Access Direct Support Workshops* before or during project reviews
Quickly assess the maturity of a group of projects in a cluster/portfolio
Provide targeted support to project leaders with exploitable outputs
Communicate clearly the current and desired future state of a project
Rapidly improve the quality of sustainability and exploitation planning
Reduce the risk of project failure by intervening before crisis points
Understand roadblocks and dependencies between TRL and MRL
The decision to exploit outputs of applied research projects often rests on a decision maker’s understanding of how value will be created. The project leader must articulate a project’s current state of maturity, and demonstrate how it will progress through development stages. However, what the project leader wishes to communicate and what the decision maker understands does not always match.
Without a common framework to understand how mature a technology is, or its level of traction with its target users or constituents, funding and operational decisions take longer. The MTRL framework provides a common language for project leaders and funding decision makers to articulate their progress between stages.
Technology Readiness Levels are a widely accepted measure of the maturity of a technology, however, it obscures an important dimension - is the technology or project output ready to be brought to market, and if not, what can be practically done to accelerate its entry and subsequent uptake within a group of constituent users or customers?
For example, if a project has developed a small scale prototype but has yet to validate the needs of its intended users, much effort and funding may be expended in the pursuit of features for a large scale prototype that will never be used.
By understanding both the current state of a project’s technology and market readiness, it becomes possible to offer more targeted support, such as refinement of a value proposition or closer pairing with an industry partner. This in turn increases the likelihood of a project’s outputs persisting outside the lab, reduced dependence on increasingly scarce grants and a more efficient use of existing resources.
The MTRL framework helps decision makers understand what resources may be required to progress through specific stages of development in the project lifecycle. This becomes particularly relevant in reducing the time it takes to assess groups of technology projects in a cluster and making direct support more accessible before reviews.
For project leaders: Request an MTRL Assessment and Direct Support Workshop
For funding bodies: Learn more about implementing the MTRL Assessment Framework