SRI International turns 70


SRI International turned 70 on Nov. 6.

The research institute was chartered as the Stanford Research Institute by Stanford University trustees on Nov. 6, 1946, with the purpose of using science and innovation for local economic growth.

Today, SRI International, which separated from Stanford University in 1970, is the second largest employer in Menlo Park, after Facebook. According to a 2015 city report, the research and development firm had 1,373 workers in Menlo Park. The institute reports 2,100 employees worldwide.

Since it began, the research and development organization has launched more than 60 ventures, according to Dina Basin, spokesperson for SRI International.

A timeline of some of the organization's milestones includes the following:

• 1950s-2009: Research is conducted on treatments and related compounds to deal with peripheral T-cell lymphoma. In 2009, the FDA approves pralatrexate, a treatment for the condition.

• 1968: The computer mouse is first demonstrated at a conference presentation by researchers at the Stanford Research Institute.

• 1970s: Halofantrine, a malaria treatment, is developed for the U.S. Army and distributed by the World Health Organization.

• 1975: The Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act is passed. SRI begins conducting the National Longitudinal Transition Study, tracking students with disabilities into adulthood. Results have been used to improve the U.S. education system, according to Ms. Basin.

• 1995: SRI research on minimally invasive surgery leads to the start of Intuitive Surgical Inc., which developed a surgical robot system with the U.S. Army. Today, Verb Surgical Inc. is developing surgery technology to integrate imaging, analysis and machine learning.

• 2010: Siri, which began at SRI International, is acquired by Apple Inc.

“Our Silicon Valley roots and proven innovation methodology have enabled SRI to nurture new technologies and applications that can help solve some of the most difficult challenges today, for the next 70 years, and beyond,” said Stephen Ciesinski, president, SRI International.

For more information, visit SRI International's timeline of its projects online.

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