ALICE position paper on going beyond Technology Readiness Level to achieve impact out of R&I projects

Thursday, May 4th, 2023

ALICE aims to facilitate value and impact creation out of research implementation through practical freight and logistics innovations addressing societal challenges.

From a common effort of ALICE Supply Network Coordination and Collaboration Thematic Group & ALICE secretariat a position paper on ‘going beyond TRL and pathways to create impact from R&I projects’ flourished

Download paper Beyond TRL position paper Michael Archer.

The paper rooted in past activities of the BOOSTLOG project, was presented by Michael Archer (ALICE TG4 chair) at the BOOSTLOG Logistics Innovation Day last 5 July 2022. The document digs deeper into one of the points highlighted in the Call for action and in the session on the 15th of March 2023.

Hereafter some key passages from the document:

  • For many years Technical Readiness Levels have been used to assess progress from an idea towards a proven solution. But innovations achieving TRL9 – actual system proven in an operational environment – are still a long way from being buyable solutions for even the most forward-looking users. There is an intermediate stage where adoption has very high inter-dependencies.
  • Recent research and innovation calls for proposals are recognising this issue without calling it out explicitly: more of the focus is on assessing impact and on the exploitation plan. But in the absence of a common assessment methodology for readiness for scale it is difficult to compare different proposals in this regard without being over-influenced by the honeyed words of the proposal writer.
  • The Boostlog project has demonstrated the need to create systematic ways of bridging this gap. The Entrance project is seeking to bridge this gap for a number of specific innovations, bringing together interested buyers with proven solutions and jointly identifying and addressing the interdependencies.

One of the first important conclusions we have reached is the need to recognize the complexity and gap between what is asked out of EU funded R&I projects (i.e. propose and prove that solutions work) and what is expected (i.e. solutions that are creating impact in the market and society).  

In ALICE view, to fulfil this expectations a deeper thought should be given and give the projects (mainly Innovation Actions) the mandate/possibility to work on assessing the other readiness aspects and the pathways towards impact and/or have additional instruments to address this creating the appropriate synergies and instruments towards innovations scale up and adoption. To do that, the framework needs to be further discussed and developed.

Heavy duty road freight transport decarbonization for instance, is an area in which these interdependencies need to be addressed to accelerate the transition to zero emission vehicles. This requires the involvement of main stakeholders and require a broader view towards adoption and scalability of solutions.

More Information:


Activities performed in the frame of BOOSTLOG Project, “Boosting impact generation from research and innovation on integrated freight transport and Logistics system”, that has received funding from the European Union´s Horizon 2020 research and innovation Programme under grant No 101006902

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