Technology Readiness Levels, Impact of Science, and the “Valley of Death”

I have recently attended an excellent 2-day workshop on proposal writing for the european commission's new research funding programme, Horizon 2020, given by Dr. Sean McCarthy from Hyperion. I won't write about the nitty-gritty details of proposal writing here, but one thing I got to know more as a sidenote in this seminar are¬†Technology Readiness Levels (TRLs). Essentially, any technological development can be associated with a TRL between 1 ("we have observed that this happens, but we do not even know why and how it happens") and 9 ("this is used in working real-life applications on the market"). The concrete details of the stages in between vary a bit depending on who you ask, but the figure below represents the 9 TRL levels as seen by the european commission: (figure…
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