Norman Winarsky leads SRI Ventures, which includes SRI International's venture and license development, the SRI Commercialization Board, and nVention – SRI's partnership with the venture capital community that develops early-stage investment opportunities. He is a founder of SRI’s venture process, including venture and license incubation, seed funding, and the Entrepreneur-In-Residence program. Winarsky works with SRI's business units to identify and develop SRI's highest-value commercial market opportunities from initial concept through commercialization as a license or venture. Prior to joining SRI, Winarsky was vice president of ventures at Sarnoff Corporation, which was fully integrated into SRI in 2011. He is also a visiting scholar at Stanford University, conducting research on regions of innovation.
Winarsky has helped found approximately 30 ventures, holds three patents and several pending, and has given invited talks, lectures, and presentations throughout the world. He is a founder of the National Information Display Laboratory (NIDL) – a center of excellence for the government in information processing and display technologies. The NIDL is known for establishing a new model for government/industry technology development and commercialization. The program grew to become the National Technology Alliance, run by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency and hosted at SRI and SRI Sarnoff.
Winarsky has served on numerous boards, and currently chairs SRI's Commercialization Board and Venture Board. He was co-founder and board member of Siri, an SRI spin-off company acquired by Apple in April 2010. Winarsky was also a member of the National Academy's Committee on Forecasting Future Disruptive Technologies, and volunteers as Chairman of the University of Chicago Visiting Committee for the Physical Sciences Division.
Winarsky received his B.A., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in mathematics from the University of Chicago. He graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa in 1969. He was a National Science Foundation Fellow from 1969 until 1974, and an invited member of the mathematics department of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. From 1974 to 1976, he was an Assistant Professor of Mathematics at the State University of New York at Albany.
Winarsky and his team received an Emmy® Award in 2000 from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for outstanding achievement in technological advancement "for a unique technology to predict how viewers will perceive the quality of digitally processed TV images or still pictures." Winarsky received more than 10 RCA awards, and in 1984, received RCA's highest honor, the Sarnoff Award, for "development of the physical understanding and computer software for simulating electron trajectories in picture tubes."
He is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Phi Beta Kappa, and Sigma Xi.