To address an international need, the joint World Wide Web initiative started with a center in Europe and one in the United States.
The European Laboratory for Particle Physics, known as CERN, was where the World Wide Web was invented in 1989.
The needs of particle physics have forced CERN to be a pioneer in networking technology for many years, and it is still a major networking site. CERN is a meeting place for physicists from all over the world, who collaborate on complex physics, engineering and information handling projects.
The needs of efficient collaboration in this environment prompted the initial development of W3 and continue to fuel CERN's interest.
In Europe, an ESPRIT project of the European Commission, called "WebCore" will ensure the technical development and industrial exploitation. This project was initiated by MIT and CERN but will now have its European center at INRIA.
The French National Institute for Research in Computing and Automation, INRIA, has centers in Roquencourt, Rennes, Sophia Antipolis, Nancy and Grenoble. INRIA has a strong expertise and experience in networking as well as hypertext user interfaces.
The consortium is set up by the Laboratory for Computer Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT/LCS).
LCS brings to the joint effort its practical experience running the X Consortium, which it founded and ran until eventually spawning it as a non-profit organization in January 1994.
MIT already has a large research effort and many advanced projects in many related areas, including in the Media Lab, and the Artificial Intelligence lab.