The TRL is a new dimension in Horizon 2020
The use of Technology Readiness Levels (TRLs) as a measurement of the maturity level of particular technologies is a new development in Horizon 2020. This measurement system provides a common understanding of technology status and addresses the entire innovation chain. By evaluating a technology project against the parameters for each Technology Readiness Level (see below), one can assign a TRL rating to the project based on its stage of progress. There are nine technology readiness levels; TRL 1 being the lowest and TRL 9 the highest.
TRL 0: Idea. Unproven concept, no testing has been performed.
TRL 1: Basic research. Principles postulated and observed but no experimental proof available.
TRL 2: Technology formulation. Concept and application have been formulated.
TRL 3: Applied research. First laboratory tests completed; proof of concept.
TRL 4: Small scale prototype built in a laboratory environment (“ugly” prototype).
TRL 5: Large scale prototype tested in intended environment.
TRL 6: Prototype system tested in intended environment close to expected performance.
TRL 7: Demonstration system operating in operational environment at pre-commercial scale.
TRL 8: First of a kind commercial system. Manufacturing issues solved.
TRL 9: Full commercial application, technology available for consumers.
Many of the call topics have a defined TRL at which the implementation of the proposal is intended to start, as well as a target TRL. Depending on the topic, projects in Space have to start at TRL 1-3 and end at TRL 4-5.