From ICANNWiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Type: Non-Profit
Industry: IT advocacy
Founded: 1986
Founder(s): Robert Kahn
Headquarters: 1895 Preston White Drive
Reston, Virginia 20191
Country: USA

CNRI (Corporation for National Research Initiatives) is a non-profit organization founded in 1986 by Robert Kahn, headquartered in Reston, Virginia. CNRI carries out and encourages public interest research, and is primarily focused on researching and developing information technologies for network based architectures, and also promoting similar activities with adequate funding and guidance.[1]


The main goal of CNRI is to identify and improve the U.S. national technological infrastructure by assisting in gaining information and knowledge and improving the technology itself. It aims at keeping the United States at the forefront of Information Technology development and application. It works to improve coordination between government agencies, educational entities and the private sector, performs research for improving information management and networking, and takes educational initiatives benefiting the general public.

CNRI has devoted its work towards design, development and implementation of innovative technologies to provide better communication and computing applications for users. CNRI, through its collaboration with prominent institutions, implements and analyzes new technologies and systems, enabling them to study the implications of these prototypes. Through educational initiatives, it helps people implement new technologies in various fields, thus leading to the overall development of technology.

Research programs

CNRI has initiated and is involved in many research programs aimed at improving the use of technologies. Some of these projects are:

ADL-R: Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL) is an initiative to manage CORDRA (see below). It is sponsored by the Secretary of Defense under the Secretary of Defense for Readiness (DUSD/R) and works to improve content management and computing over network for increasing interoperability and distributed learning with the help of Sharable Content Object Reference Model (SCORM). CNRI has developed and deployed a registration system (ADL-Registry, or ADL-R) to help in the discovery and reuse of content present across Defense Department repositories. A generic ADL-R is under development, which will provide added capabilities to support CORDRA.[2]

CORDRA: Content Object Repository Discovery and Registration/ Resolution Architecture (CORDRA) is a digital object registry being developed by CNRI. Objects are registered and maintained using structured metadata that can be used as an index to search for a particular object. CORDRA helps in centralizing individual registries of various communities. One such registry is the ADL-R.

D-lib Magazine: CNRI publishes the electronic magazine D-lib, which focuses on new technologies and applications, digital library research and development, and related economic and social issues.[3]

Digital Object Architecture: This includes development of core technologies that can be used for testing and implementation in various projects. This initiative is funded from various sources. One such example is the DARPA-funded Computer Science Technical Reports (CS-TR) projects.[4] Other such projects related to developing core technologies are the Digital Object Store, the Digital Object Repository, and the DOI System.[5]

MEMS and Nanotechnology Exchange: A consulting service for the MEMS community. Through its state of the art network facilities, the Exchange provides implementation solutions for nano-, micro- and MEMS technologies. It acts as an intermediary between customers and the network facilities.[6]

Handle System: An information system present on a distributed network that provides HDL identification and resolution services on the internet.[7]

Apart from these, CNRI has worked on many other research programs, two examples being speech and language processing and Knowbot Programs.[8]

DNS vs. the Handle System

In the September 2003 edition of "Release 1.0," ICANN's first Chairman, Ms. Esther Dyson, contrasts the DNS to the Handle System. DNS is just one of the systems through which one can identify resources on the internet. Although it is currently the main system used to facilitate the location of resources on the internet, and it is performing its task effectively, it has the limitation of only recognizing identifiers of specific machines on the internet and not other resources like documents, images, etc. CNRI’s DOB stores identifiers of such resources in the form of metadata, which are also searchable. This system is known as Handle System. This system can be an effective replacement to overcome DNS’s limitation.[9]


  3. dlib.orgD-Lib magazine
  4. []
  7. []Handle system
  8. and activities
  9. dlib.orgD-lib magazine March,2004