SRI International, founded as Stanford Research Institute, is one of the world's largest contract research institutes. Based in the United States, the trustees of Stanford University established it in 1946 as a center of innovation to support economic development in the region. It was later incorporated as an independent non-profit organization under U.S. and California laws. SRI's headquarters are in Menlo Park, California, near the Stanford University campus.
SRI's mission is discovery and the application of science and technology for knowledge, commerce, prosperity, and peace.
SRI performs client-sponsored research and development for government agencies, commercial businesses, and private foundations. It also licenses its technologies, forms strategic partnerships, and creates spin-off companies.
SRI's focus areas include communications and networks, computing, economic development and science and technology policy, education, energy and the environment, engineering systems, pharmaceuticals and health sciences, homeland security and national defense, materials and structures, and robotics.
SRI has been awarded more than 1,000 patents and patent applications worldwide.
In 1970, SRI formally separated from Stanford University and, in 1977, became known as SRI International. The separation was a belated response to Vietnam war protesters at Stanford University who believed that SRI's DARPA-funded work was essentially making the university part of the military-industrial complex.