March 20, 2017

Emerging Cleantech – Part 1: Is the technology ready for the market?

Samuel Banker, Market Development Fellow

With a range of nationally ranked universities feeding talent into high tech industries, it’s no surprise that Massachusetts was named Bloomberg’s most innovative U.S. state for the second year in a row in 2016. This is great news for Massachusetts residents, and of course is particularly exciting news for technology industry followers and stakeholders.

For MassCEC’s Innovation and Industry Support (IIS) and Investments divisions, key facilitators in the cleantech commercialization arena, the news promises a new wave of emerging cleantech and exciting market entrant hopefuls for 2017. As IIS & Investments get ready to support a range of new tech projects, and the newest cohort of innovators gets ready to seek resources for growth, a key question emerges on both sides of the equation: How do we know if a certain technology is ready for the market?

MassCEC has “on-ramps” for technology companies and stakeholders at all stages of technological development, and encourages innovation across the spectrum. In the IIS and Investments divisions, we use a set of standardized Technology Readiness Levels (TRL) and Commercial Readiness Levels (CRL), indicators developed by the U.S. Department of Energy's Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA-E), to customize support for different projects through a range of initiatives.

For both MassCEC and the companies that we work with, understanding both TRL and CRL is a crucial first step in facilitating clean energy industry growth, and guiding interactions.

Whether you’re a current, past, or prospective cleantech innovator, or just a technology enthusiast, you should take a look at the TRL and CRL tables. The tables are the key to determining where technologies that you’re interested in or involved with are on their journeys to the commercial market, and help to identify which MassCEC innovation programs are the right fit.

Tune in for a follow up blog post that will dive into the various MassCEC programs that exist specifically to support the diversity of emerging clean energy and water innovations, both underway and yet to come, in Massachusetts!