How Technology Readiness Levels (TRL) influence which subsidies you can get

Technology Readiness Levels (TRL) is a method to estimate how mature your company’s technology is when it comes to getting acquired. There are nine levels, with one representing the least developed technology and nine representing proven technology available for customers. So when it comes to your situation, which subsidy can you get? Where would your chances to get a given subsidy increase? Read on to find out about the nine TRLs and the corresponding subsidies!

Discovery stage – Level 1 – Basic research done

If you’re at this stage, you’ve already spent some time on doing the basic research into the principles of the technology to focus on. You haven’t experimented on your project yet, but the basis for your project is there.

Discovery stage – Level 2 – Technology concept formulated

At this level, you’ve done some more research to see whether the concept of your innovation could be applicable. Basically, by this stage you’ve invested a lot more time in your project.

Congratulations! You are eligible for:

  1. VFF

Discovery stage – Level 3 – Experimental proof of concept

You’ve done a lot of research to begin experimenting whether your product would work. For example, the first laboratory tests have been done. The results may not be definite, but at least it’s a start!

Congratulations! You are eligible for:

  1. MIT
  2. WBSO
  3. Innovation box
  4. VFF

Development stage – Level 4 – Small-scale prototype validated in a lab

At this point, you’ve done more experiments in a laboratory environment to prove that your idea works. You’ve built a preliminary prototype which could be developed.

Congratulations! You are eligible for:

  1. WBSO
  2. MIT
  3. Innovation box
  4. VFF

Development stage – Level 5 – Large-scale prototype tested in an intended environment

This time, you’ve done experiments in a relevant, realspace environment. Now you can argue that your idea is to be used in the environment for which it was built. All you have to do is keep on testing to get your desired result!

Congratulations! You are eligible for:

  1. WBSO
  2. MIT
  3. DKTI
  4. DEI
  5. Innovation credit
  6. Innovation box

Development stage – Level 6 – Technology demonstrated in an intended environment

At this point, you should be very happy with your innovation. Why? You’ve successfully managed to test and prove your technology in a relevant, realspace environment! You’ve shown that your technology performs the way it was expected to.

Congratulations! You are eligible for:

  1. WBSO
  2. MIT
  3. DKTI
  4. SDE+
  5. DEI
  6. Innovation credit
  7. Innovation box

Demonstration stage – Level 7 – System prototype demonstration in an operational environment

You’ve proved that your technology works where it should work. Great! Now you’re busy with researching into the production and the certification of your product, focusing on the commercial side.

Congratulations! You are eligible for:

  1. DKTI
  2. SDE+
  3. DEI
  4. EIA
  5. BMKB

Demonstration stage – Level 8 – First of a kind commercial system

You’ve done your research and have solved the manufacturing obstacles in the way. The product is about to go live!

Congratulations! You are eligible for:

  1. DKTI
  2. SDE+
  3. DEI
  4. EIA
  5. BMKB

Deployment stage – Level 9 – System proven in an operational environment

By this stage, your product is made live to customers, because it is fully ready for commercial use. The focus is now on the actual commercial production and market introduction.

Congratulations! You are eligible for:

  1. SDE+
  2. EIA
  3. BMKB

As you can see, you can apply for numerous subsidies almost at every stage of the technology development. It’s only at the very first stage that you are not eligible for any subsidies, but that should be logical – at that point, you’re still exploring how to execute your project. But once you get through that, you should be pretty much free to ask our consultants to apply for any suitable subsidy there is. So go ahead! Pitch your idea now! And don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or if you’d need help with regards to subsidies.

Author: Marketa Svobodova, m.svobodova@mksubsidy.com, Content Manager & Partnerships