Celebrating 60 years of world-changing innovations | SRI International

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Leading Research Institute SRI International Celebrates 60 Years of World-Changing Innovations

 MENLO PARK, Calif. -- November 6, 2006 -- SRI International, a nonprofit research and development organization, today celebrates 60 SRI 60th anniversary logoyears of world-changing innovations that have brought lasting benefits to the world. Founded by business leaders and the trustees of Stanford University on November 6, 1946 as Stanford Research Institute and independent since 1970, SRI remains committed to its founding purpose: discovery and the application of science and technology for knowledge, commerce, prosperity, and peace.


An anniversary celebration event takes place this evening at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California.  The event features a keynote address by SRI President and CEO, Curtis Carlson. Technology forecaster Paul Saffo will moderate a panel of SRI luminaries including Paul Cook, Douglas Engelbart, Phil Green, and Donald Nielson.

"More than 25,000 staff members have worked at SRI since our founding 60 years ago. Our anniversary is a unique opportunity to thank and honor our past and present staff members, whose contributions have helped create new industries, billions of dollars in market value, and lasting benefits to society that touch our lives every day," said Dr. Carlson. "As we embark on the next 60 years, SRI will build upon our heritage to continue delivering important innovations to our clients and the marketplace."

A Legacy of Innovation

Over its 60-year history, SRI International has completed more than 50,000 projects for its clients, which include government agencies, global corporations, and private foundations. Clients have funded two billion dollars in R&D at SRI in the last decade alone. In collaboration with top-tier investment and venture capital firms, SRI and its subsidiary, Sarnoff Corporation, have formed two dozen spin-off ventures.

Examples of SRI’s notable contributions include:

-Drug discovery and development: SRI has developed nine of its own drugs that have entered clinical trials, with several more currently undergoing preclinical evaluations. Working with government and industry partners, SRI has advanced more than 100 drugs into clinical trials, and more than 30 drugs onto the market. In the 1970s, SRI developed a treatment for drug-resistant malaria for the U.S. Army. Distributed by the World Health Organization (WHO), the drug has saved countless lives.

-ARPANET, packet switched radio and the Internet: In 1969, SRI was the recipient of the first logon to the ARPANET, the small computer network that was the precursor to the Internet. In 1976, SRI established the first connection between two dissimilar networks using Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) to connect the wired ARPANET and SRI’s wireless, mobile PRNET (packet radio network). In 1977, SRI sent the first inter-network transmission between three networks, from the PRNET mobile van to the University of Southern California by way of London, England.

-Personal computing: Along with his team at SRI, Doug Engelbart created many of the concepts and tools that set the global computer revolution in motion. In addition to inventing the computer mouse, Engelbart's pioneering work laid the groundwork for hypertext, real-time text editing, online journals, shared-screen teleconferencing, and remote collaboration technology.

-Electronic banking: SRI revolutionized the banking industry with the invention of ERMA (Electronic Recording Machine, Accounting), and magnetic ink character recognition (MICR). Introduced by Bank of America in 1955, these innovations replaced manual recordkeeping with automatic check processing. MICR is still used worldwide today for reading and processing checks.


-Artificial intelligence: Since its founding in 1966 (when the field was in its infancy), SRI's renowned Artificial Intelligence Center has made major contributions to the development and advancement of computational principles underlying machine intelligence. In 1972, SRI developed "Shakey," the world's first mobile robot with the ability to reason about its surroundings. In 2002, SRI designed the Centibots one of the first and largest teams of coordinated, autonomous mobile robots that explore, map, and survey unknown environments.

-Network security: SRI's pioneering software -- from Intrusion Detection Expert System (IDES), Next-Generation IDES (NIDES), and in the1990s EMERALD® led to today's network intrusion detection solutions. Since 2004, SRI has been administering the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Cyber Security R&D Center to develop security technology for protection of the U.S. cyber infrastructure.

-Speech technology: SRI's Speech Technology and Research (STAR) Laboratory is a world-leader in signal processing, phonetics/phonology, mathematical modeling, and software engineering.   In the 1990s, SRI spun off Nuance Communications (Nasdaq: NUAN) to exploit SRI technology that enables speech-activated access to information and services. This year SRI’s IraqComm translation system, which performs bidirectional, speech-to-speech machine translation between English and colloquial Iraqi Arabic, is being field tested in Iraq.

-Telepresence surgery: SRI's novel approach to minimally invasive surgery led to its spin-off Intuitive Surgical, Inc. (Nasdaq: ISRG) in1995.  Intuitive Surgical further developed the robotic surgical system, which was the first to be cleared by the U.S. FDA. Surgeons throughout the U.S., Europe, and Asia use it to help patients recover faster, with less pain and fewer complications. For the U.S. government, SRI is now developing a "trauma pod," an automated medical treatment system that could treat injured soldiers without requiring medical personnel on the battlefield.

-Education and economic development: In the United States, SRI's decades of education policy research, such as longitudinal studies of youth with disabilities, has shaped legislation and funding priorities. SRI's deep understanding of educational technology is transforming both learning and teaching. And SRI's economic development strategies have raised the standard of living in countries around the globe since the 1950s.

-National security: SRI has been meeting our nation's needs for mission-critical technologies, from over-the-horizon radar used during the Cold War, to GPS used in the Gulf War, to intelligence systems used in today's war against terrorism.


Dr. Carlson added, "This is probably the best time in history for innovation. We look forward to our next 60 years."

About SRI International

Silicon Valley-based SRI International is one of the world’s leading independent research and technology development organizations. Founded as Stanford Research Institute in 1946, SRI has been meeting the strategic needs of clients for 60 years. The nonprofit research institute performs research and development funded by government agencies, commercial businesses and private foundations. In addition to conducting contract R&D, SRI licenses its technologies, forms strategic partnerships and creates spin-off companies.


Note to editors and producers: For more information, visit SRI’s website. Contact pr [at] sri.com for a complete anniversary media kit, including a timeline of innovations, documentary DVD, and B-roll.

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