The Stanford Research Institute was founded by Stanford University in 1946 as a center of innovation to support economic development in the region. It was formally separated from the university in 1970, and was renamed SRI International in 1977.
SRI’s research areas include biomedical sciences, chemistry and materials, computing, Earth and space systems, economic development, education and learning, energy and environmental technology, security and national defense, as well as sensing and devices.
The company is perhaps best known in the high-tech community as the place where Douglas Engelbart invented the mouse in 1964. The first prototype consisted of a wooden shell, circuit board and two metal wheels that came into contact with the surface it was being used on.
The mouse was subsequently adopted by Xerox PARC for use in its graphic user interfaces. Apple was the first company to make a mouse available as a standard feature on a computer system, the Macintosh.
SRI was also the first place that an Internet message was received, on October 29, 1969. The message was sent from UCLA to Stanford Research Institute, on what was then called ARPANET. The message was supposed to say “login” but after sending just two letters, the system at UCLA crashed.