Advanced science.  Applied technology.


IR&D 2023

Orange digital photogrammetry model of craters on a surface

As a nonprofit research and development organization, SwRI invests in innovation, using our robust internal research and development (IR&D) program to expand and enhance our expertise and encourage our staff’s professional growth. In 2023, SwRI initiated 103 IR&D new projects, investing more than $9.3 million in internal research, including quick-look and focused research programs. IR&D fulfills the Institute’s objective of conducting innovative activities for the benefit of industry, the government and humankind.

Through internal research, we increase our technical capabilities, expand our reputation as a leader in science and technology, and invest in technology our clients may need in the future. The program also allows engineers and scientists to grow in their technical fields by providing freedom to explore innovative and unproven concepts without contractual restrictions and expectations. IR&D is frequently cited as a key enabling factor leading to new projects, new clients and completely new research arenas within the Institute.

About the Header

Using internal research funding, SwRI scientists integrated our in-house expertise in digital photogrammetry and physical analog models to better simulate and quantify complex geologic processes on Earth and other planetary bodies.

SwRI's Dr. Alan Stern conducting preliminary research at zero gravity

Funded by SwRI’s longest running internal research program, SwRI’s Dr. Alan Stern became the Institute’s first astronaut, conducting preliminary research at zero gravity to support an upcoming NASA-funded flight to suborbital space aboard Virgin Galactic’s VSS Unity.