The goal of W3C-LA is to leverage a greater uptake of Web technologies throughout Europe by developing shrink-wrapped demonstrators, disseminating them throughout Europe, and encouraging champions in companies to develop demonstrations to management that show the impact of the Web on the company's future business. The belief is that such demonstrations will lead to applications development within companies. Thus, W3C-LA is about opening European industries eyes to the opportunities that the web and its new developments offer them.
It is important to realise that this project is therefore not a normal ESPRIT RTD project with a single business objective in a single market sector. Developing the Web technology infrastructure is far too wide-ranging in scope and application for that to be possible. Indeed, many of the applications that will use the proposed developments have not yet been thought of. Major players in the IT area have joined W3C with the objectives both of influencing Web developments, but more importantly having an inside track on what the future will bring.
The core developments by W3C improve the basic functionality of the Web, increasing its expressive power and its flexibility. The Demonstrators will show to companies the innovative uses to which the core developments can be put. Hence there are two groups of exploiting agents:
(1) W3C members (who have demonstrated their commitment to W3C by paying substantial fees for the privilege of being a member) and other IT-oriented companies which directly exploit the core results;
(2) a wider range of IT-using organisations, which obtain exposure to the impact of the core results via the demonstrators.
Reaching the first group and identifying the company Champions is relatively straightforward, partly by the active membership of W3C, and partly by the intense interest expressed by non-W3C members in W3C developments. The second group needs more focused consideration, and will be approached by finding Champions who are respected in their communities, and who can therefore act as effective evangelists for the developments. These champions can be found using the extensive commercial contacts of W3C, INRIA, CCLRC, and other ERCIM members. Since the project is undertaken by strongly committed European organisations, the range of benefiting organisations is thus not only extremely wide, but more focused on Europe than the rest of the world.
W3C-LA Plan page [W3C Team and W3C-LA partners only]