The TRL level, as commonly used in H2020, can be used to define whether a technology is ready for commercialisation or not, but it does not adequately capture how «ready» the technology-based company is to go to market. In response to this limitation, the Cloudwatchhub project (https://www.cloudwatchhub.eu/) developed the market readiness scale. This scale measures a company’s ability to be ready to go to market with useful, usable and trusted products/services/solutions.
As EIC main objective, across the three different instruments it includes (EIC Pathfinder, EIC Transition to Innovation and EIC Accelerator) is somehow looking towards the market, this scale is really useful to complement the TRL scale to understand in each programme what is expected both at technology and business levels (as input and output of the programme). Even more, as the ultimate purpose of achieving ‘market readiness’ is to develop a commercial offering for a group of customers, the proposed scale can be further discretized to only 3 states: business conceptualization, business testing and business deployment, as shown below:
- Business conceptualization (0-3):
Building a business is based on a perceived need that your offer can satisfy. At the end of this conceptualization you may have a candidate product/service, a collection of evidence from your clients and an idea on how to generate value to them.
- Business testing (4-5):
Market is the strongest “sparring” you will have for your business. Testing your business can involve close stakeholder or even early adopters. Your objective here is to measure & evolve if your actual “processes” match with your client’s needs.
- Business deployment (6-9):
In this phase you have to consolidate paying customers and the product/service offering in the long run. In this step you become a trustful business for your clients and your cash flow starts to become predictable.