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Technology Readiness

Technology Readiness is a topic of keen interest in both the acquisition and S&T communities.  In 2001, DoD adopted the use of Technology Readiness Levels (TRLs) for new Major Acquisition Programs as a way to manage the maturity level of technology entering the programs.  This 9-level assessment tool, modeled after the NASA index developed in the 1980s, enables the assignment of readiness levels from the observation of basic principles (TRL = 1) to technology proven through successful mission operations (TRL = 9).  Today, DoD has referenced the importance of technology maturity in the DoD 5000 series acquisition documentation, DoD Defense Acquisition Guidebook, and the DoD Technology  Readiness Assessment(TRA) Deskbook.  Under the banner of Technology Readiness, there are numerous categories.  The most common being Hardware TRLs, Software TRLs, Biomedical TRLs, and Manufacturing Readiness Levels (MRLs).

TRLs are used routinely throughout the technology development process, from basic research to fielding of a technology.  Additional tools for assessing and managing TRLs are available at the “Best Practices” tab. 

The S&T community has adopted the use of Technology Transition Agreements which rely heavily on the (TTAs) designations.  These agreements document the commitment of the requirements/resource sponsor, the S&T activity (developer and provider of the technology/product), and the Acquisition Program Office (intended receiver of a technology or capability development) to develop, deliver, and integrate a technology/product into an acquisition program.   Many of the processes discussed on the “Best Practices” tab use TTAs and provide guidance on how to tailor a TTA to your organization and project.

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