The mission of the Technology Gateway is to apply LYIT capability and capacity to solve technical challenges and to develop new products for Irish Industry. Projects engagement can happen at any stage in the product development life-cycle with an outcome up to an advanced prototype, Technology Readiness Level 7 (TRL7).
Either initiating with a feasibility study or directly from a problem statement you can engage with the Technology Gateway to provide you with R&D support on a contract basis. Such contract work is usually framed around known technical requirements that may have several novel solution paths requiring further investigation. Based on the stated client requirements a costed proposal is written in which clear target goals are defined, this forms the basis of the project. As a guideline such work typically runs from 3 to 12 months in duration.
Collaborative Research partnerships usually follow-on from previously completed work, such as a feasibility study. These applied research programmes are based on shared investment of resources by LYIT and the industrial partner with the goal of providing added value to both partners by exploiting the developed technology. The duration for these types of engagement is typically 12 to 24 months.
In most cases Enterprise Ireland companies engaging in Collaborative Research are eligible for support from funding schemes. See the Funding section for more details.
Technology Readiness Levels are an indication of the maturity stage of development of
particular technology on its way to being developed for a particular application or product. Government us TRL definitions to determine the appropriate source and level of state funding.
Below are simplified guidelines of the TRLs.
|TRL 1 – Basic Research||Scientific, “blue sky” research.|
|TRL 2 – Concept||Basic physical principles are observed, practical applications can be identified. At this level the application is still speculative and there is no experimental proof.|
|TRL 3 – Proof of Principle||Experimental proof of critical technical functions and validation of feasibility for application, for example by CAD. Applied research and development is initiated.|
|TRL 4 – Lab Prototype||Lab and Test Bench Demos of sub-systems & key components. Modelling, simulations & experimentation with parameters representing future conditions.|
|TRL 5 – Development Prototype||The system, sub-system, components, or sub-scale units are integrated with reasonably realistic supporting elements so it can be tested in a representative environment. Intended functionality, size/form factor and performance features are known at this stage but not achieved.|
|TRL 6 – Min. Viable Prototype (MVP)||The prototype well beyond TRL 5, an engineering prototype close to the correct form factor, is tested in a relevant operational environment to prove engineering feasibility. Product is demonstrable but not all end user features are available.|
|TRL 7 – Operational Prototype (Alpha Product)||Prototype is near, or at, the planned operational system level. A pilot system can be deployed for field trials on the user site or with a “tame” client. The goal of this stage is to remove engineering and manufacturing risk. Companies would not sell these prototypes.|
|TRL 8 – First Commercial Product|
|Technology has been proven to work in its final form under the expected conditions. Product compliance certification and NPI manufacturing processes are conducted at this stage. In most of the cases, this level represents the end of true system development. A limited release to an appropriate number of clients would be normal|
|TRL 9 – Full Scale Commercial Product||Marketable Product: proven in repeated use - Product being sold in market, scaling up sales volumes. Actual application of technology is in its final form - Technology proven through successful operations.|