Dr. Nazrul Islam

Editor in Chief of International Journal of Technology and Intelligence Planning, University of Exeter

United Kingdom

Emerging Technologies and Innovative Readiness Levels for Industry 4.0


Emerging technologies (e.g., micro and nanotechnology; Trillion Sensor Systems) have been recognized as key enabling technology; general purpose technology; radical or disruptive technology for the 21st century. With the fast moving pace of emerging technologies and their disruptive nature, coping with their maturity and uncertainty has become a foremost issue for manufacturing design engineers as well as technology managers. For managing emerging technologies’ life cycle, challenges still remain in its practice and implementation, which demand novel or improved approaches. We developed a new concept and/or research method using a readiness matrix called ‘innovative manufacturing readiness levels (IMRL). It is a systematic measurement and control system that can help identifying important elements or systems and tracking the maturity development and control uncertainties and risks of those elements.
This readiness level technique seemed more suited to established technologies ones that already had processes lean production practices and therefore we use IMRL technique due to the emergent nature of technologies’ infrastructure. This technique has five levels and four key performance measures. The key performance measures were static for each of the five levels. The key measures included: Science and technology performance; Product and process performance; Market and business performance; and Firm and industry performance. IMRL is found to be a perfect complement to TRL to assess the state of maturity of the technology, component or product.


Dr Nazrul Islam is Associate Professor of Innovation/Entrepreneurship at the University of Exeter Business School, England, UK. He holds a PhD in innovation management. His research interests include nanotechnology systems of innovation; innovation in high-tech industries; the management of emerging and discontinuous innovations; organisational capabilities and collaborative innovations. He has published an authored book and two edited volumes on the topic. Dr Islam's research received awards including the "Brad Hosler Award for Outstanding Paper" from USA; and the "Pratt & Whitney Canada Best Paper Award" from Canada. Dr Islam is currently Editor-in-Chief of International Journal of Technology Intelligence and Planning.