I am pleased to present this Annual Report highlighting some of Southwest Research Institute’s outstanding technical advancements, solid financial performance, and other accomplishments from Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21). Our staff showed initiative, flexibility and commitment to the Institute’s mission even while navigating through a year plagued with the stubborn and persistent COVID-19 pandemic.
Our research activities continue to provide solutions to some of humankind's most difficult challenges from Deep Sea to Deep Space. In this last year, for example, our geologists and geoscientists completed research on the complex geological developments of offshore Newfoundland and Labrador, using newly available broadband seismic reflection data. And our space scientists determined the brightness of the galactic background using an SwRI-developed instrument aboard NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft on an SwRI-led mission.
If this year has shown us anything, it's that time and again we respond successfully to unexpected challenges with innovation and creativity. Our consolidated FY21 revenue set a record for the Institute and our staff found ways to continue innovating and serving our clients as our contract backlog grew to a historic new level.
We were also able to expand our campus by several hundred acres, and the Board of Directors approved two new buildings to accommodate the growth in our research programs. We also continued to invest in internally funded research by providing more than $8 million to allow our staff to pursue innovative concepts and broaden the Institute’s technology base. Our Internal R&D program is designed not only to anticipate challenges clients may face in the future, but also to begin working on them today.
I would like to thank our staff, leadership, Board of Directors and Advisory Trustees for their different contributions in FY21. Not every organization has a culture like ours, where all these stakeholders enjoy positive and productive working relationships. This pandemic year provided an excellent opportunity for us to codify the key aspects of this culture in our “Core Values.” Executive management selected a team of 20 diverse staff members who identified four foundational qualities that reflect the beliefs, principles and culture of the Institute to help guide the actions and behavior of all staff members. These core values are:
Integrity: Fulfilling our mission and serving our clients with excellence, honesty and accountability.
Innovation: Solving problems and creating value with novel ideas and multidisciplinary collaborations.
People: Fostering an employee-centric culture in a safe, inclusive, healthy and supportive workplace.
Stewardship: Caring for our communities and protecting the environment now and for the future.
Additionally, we recognize that our people comprise our greatest strength and our greatest competitive advantage. Therefore, our continued success requires an understanding of how best to synergize the unique capabilities of all our team members. We recognize that the way we integrate diversity, equity and inclusion into all of our processes is a key to that continued success.
I am grateful for the agility and commitment our staff has shown this past year as we have managed the many formidable challenges of the pandemic and its impact on the research business. We look to the future and our 75th anniversary next year — a significant milestone in the life of any organization — with confidence and high expectations. Whatever challenges may lie ahead, the staff of Southwest Research Institute will rise to the occasion.
Adam L. Hamilton, P.E.
President & CEO