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The TLDR on TRL, MRL, and ARL


The OneValley team has been hard at work supporting the DOE’s Climate Tech Accelerator, Cradle to Commerce.

The OneValley team has been hard at work supporting the DOE’s Climate Tech Accelerator, Cradle to Commerce. Members of the OV team have been participating in the startup review process and have, due to the deep-tech nature of these startups, we’ve had to consider a few metrics we don’t usually use when judging startups. So we thought it would be helpful to share a quick cheat sheet on Technology Readiness Level (TRL), Market Readiness Level (MRL), and adoption readiness level (ARL).


Technology Readiness Level (TRL), Market Readiness Level (MRL), Technology Readiness Level (TRL), and Adoption Readiness Level (ARL) are three different metrics used to assess the maturity of a technology or innovation. Still, they focus on various aspects of the readiness for deployment, and Adoption Readiness Level (ARL), are three different metrics used to assess a technology's or innovation's maturity. Still, they focus on various aspects of the readiness for deployment.


Technology Readiness Level (TRL) is a metric used to evaluate the maturity of a technology or innovation, specifically its technical readiness for deployment. It ranges from TRL 1 (basic principles observed and reported) to TRL 9 (actual system proven through successful mission operations). TRL provides a standard method for assessing the maturity of technologies across different industries and enables the comparison of other technologies at the same level of readiness.

Technology Readiness Level (TRL) is a metric used to evaluate the maturity of a technology or innovation, specifically its technical readiness for deployment.
Fig 1. TRL illustration from NASA

Market Readiness Level (MRL) refers to the level of preparation of a technology or innovation for successful entry into the market. MRL ranges from MRL 1 to MRL 9 (product commercialization). MRL assesses the innovation's readiness from a market perspective, considering market size, customer demand, regulatory requirements, and competition factors. In addition, MRL takes into the business viability of the technology, including its cost, revenue potential, and distribution channels.


Market Readiness Level (MRL) refers to the level of preparation of a technology or innovation for successful entry into the market.
Fig 2 TRL to MRL graphic from DOE

Adoption Readiness Level (ARL) is a complementary metric to TRL and MRL, which assesses the readiness of a specific innovation for adoption and integration into existing systems or infrastructures. ARL ranges from ARL 1 (conceptual design) to ARL 9 (complete integration and widespread adoption). ARL assesses the innovation's readiness to be adopted and integrated into existing systems and infrastructure, considering factors such as interoperability, standards compliance, training, and support.


Adoption Readiness Level (ARL) is a complementary metric to TRL and MRL, which assesses the readiness of a specific innovation for adoption and integration into existing systems or infrastructures.
TRL x ARL chart from DOE


In summary, TRL assesses the technical readiness of an innovation, MRL assesses its market readiness, and ARL assesses its adoption and integration readiness. The three metrics provide a comprehensive framework for evaluating the maturity of an innovation, from its initial concept to successful commercialization and adoption.


To learn more about how these metrics are used to fund the world’s next big climate tech startups, visit the Cradle to Commerce homepage and learn how to engage with the program





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