Past, Present & Future
Who we are, how we began, and where we’re going
With pioneering companies like Tesla and Nest, and powerhouse Fortune 500 companies like Hewlett-Packard and Ford Motor Company, SRP’s community is diverse, and our history is storied. Scores of Stanford alumni have launched or headquartered their companies within our borders, as have those who have traveled near and far to join a legacy of success. Founders choose SRP for our prestigious Palo Alto address, access to Stanford University’s emerging research and brainpower, close proximity to venture capital firms, and sustainable buildings in a stunning natural environment. Our unique blend of nature and culture has made SRP the business park that others emulate.
Stanford Research Park is situated squarely in the heart of Silicon Valley’s business community, surrounded by popular social spots, and a rich arts and culture scene. Our location provides easy access to California Avenue, featuring numerous restaurants, bars and shops. It’s a short Marguerite shuttle ride to the Caltrain station at University Avenue, Silicon Valley’s vibrant “Main Street.” Stanford University’s just two miles away, offering a wealth of events, lectures, classes, performances, museums, and walking trails open to our community. People repeatedly tell us they feel better connected and more inspired just by being here.
Stanford Research Park is a community of and for people who seek to invent the future. We support innovative companies in their R&D pursuits by providing modern facilities in a beautiful natural landscape, offering sustainable transportation programs, forging connections with Stanford University’s talent and resources, and fostering collaboration.
A history of innovation partnerships
It can be said that one of the cornerstones of Silicon Valley was laid when Varian Associates broke ground as Stanford Research Park’s first company in 1951. The Stanford Industrial Park, as it was first called, was the brainchild of Stanford University’s Provost and Dean of Engineering, Frederick Terman, who saw the potential of a University-affiliated business park that focused on research and development and generated income for the University and community.
Dean Terman envisioned a new kind of collaboration, where Stanford University could join forces with industry and the City of Palo Alto to advance shared interests. He saw the Park’s potential to serve as a beacon for new, high-quality scientists and faculty, provide jobs for University graduates, and stimulate regional economic development.
In the 1950s, leaders within the City of Palo Alto and Stanford University forged a seminal partnership by creating Stanford Research Park, agreeing to annex SRP lands into the City of Palo Alto to generate significant tax revenues for the County, City, and Palo Alto Unified School District.
Throughout our history, an incredible number of breakthroughs have occurred in Stanford Research Park. Here, Varian developed the microwave tube, forming the basis for satellite technology and particle accelerators. Its spin-off, Varian Medical, developed radiation oncology treatments, medical devices and software for medical diagnostics. Steve Jobs founded NeXT Computer, breaking ground for the next generation of graphics and audio capabilities in personal computing.
Hewlett-Packard developed electronic measuring instruments, leading to medical electronic equipment, instrumentation for chemical analysis, the mainframe computer, laser printers and hand-held calculators. At Xerox’s Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), innovations such as personal work stations, Ethernet cabling and the personal computer mouse were invented. Lockheed’s space and missile division developed critical components for the International Space Station. Mark Zuckerberg grew Facebook’s social networking platform from 20 million to 750 million people worldwide while its headquarters were in the Park.
Today, Tesla’s electric vehicle and battery prototypes are developed and assembled here in its headquarters. Our largest tenant, VMware, continues to create the virtualization hardware and software solutions they pioneered, leading the world in cloud computing. With over 150 companies in 10 million square feet and 140 buildings, Stanford Research Park maintains a world-class reputation. It has been our mission to capture the spirit and vision of Dean Terman by supporting the needs of Stanford Research Park companies so that they may perpetuate the Park’s legacy of innovation.
Dig deeper into our history, community, and how to get around Stanford Research Park.