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SRI's Secrets to Successful Innovation

From the creation of the first computer mouse to the development of Siri, SRI International has been propelling tech innovation for over half a century. The nonprofit research institute is responsible for advancements across any number of fields, from media to medicine, education to economics, ARPANET to modern AI.
SRI has created and launched more than 40 Ventures, with a total market capitalization exceeding $20 billion, and hundreds of high value licences for their IP. Behind this effort is a process of research, development, deployment and commercialization for ventures and licenses that brings to bear its own innovative practices

In this conversation, TechCrunch’s Anthony Ha sits down with SRI VP of Ventures Norman Winarsky to discuss SRI’s spin out philosophy and process, their current and future projects, and the contemporary ecosystem of innovation from incubators to research institutes.


  1. What is SRI's unique innovation and ventures process, and how has it informed the work they do and companies and licenses they create?
  2. Within the current market, what is the value of research institutes in comparison to incubators and accelerators? What are the advantages and disadvantages to either system, and how do the differing processes spur differing innovations?
  3. How does SRI identify and pursue market opportunities for spinouts, ventures and licensing opportunities, and what does SRI feel are the factors for success in doing so?
  4. What areas are SRI projects currently focusing on, and what do they see as the areas most ripe for disruption over the next decade?
  5. How has SRI's processes and approaches changed over the decades to reflect the changing investment and market landscapes? And how has the work of other research institutes or the development of new models like incubators influenced SRI's own ventures philosophy?



Doug Freeman, PR and Marketing, Jones-Dilworth

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