Introductory Industry Membership


This program took effect 1 October 2014.


A growing number of industries are adopting the Open Web Platform. As a result, in the past several years W3C has expanded its Membership from, and liaisons with, the telecommunications, automotive, digital publishing, entertainment, advertising, and other industries.

As part of increasing participation from these sectors, in 2011 W3C launched Business Groups. These groups offer organizations not traditionally involved in standardization of W3C technology a way to share requirements with and learn from the existing Web community, but at a lower fee than regular W3C Membership. We are still learning from our Business Group experience, but two of them today (Automotive, Broadcasting) have significant participation from non-Members.

This program is the next step at industry integration: a two-year "Introductory Industry Membership" (or "Intro Membership" for short) with fewer benefits than regular Membership and a corresponding lower fee. This "on ramp" is designed so that:

During the two years, these Organizations receive most of the benefits of other W3C Members. However, participation in groups is limited to one Interest Group; see details below.

When Introductory Industry Members wish to begin participation in Working Groups, they convert to regular Member status.


Eligible Organizations
Renewal in Second Year
Rights and Responsibilities
The same as for other W3C Members except:


What Membership Rights and Obligations do Introductory Industry Members have?

The same as regular Members except those related to group participation as defined in the proposal. The other rights they do have include:

What if the organization wishes to join additional Working or Interest Groups?

They can convert to regular Membership by paying the difference.

Can Introductory Industry Member Employees Participate in Working Groups as Invited Experts?

See the principles guiding invitations and periodic review of Invited Experts.

What happens to an Invited Expert when their company becomes an Introductory Industry Member?

See the principles guiding invitations and periodic review of Invited Experts.

Like other Members, do Introductory Industry Members have patent licensing obligations?

Not by virtue of their Introductory Industry Membership, which does not directly enable them to participate in any Working Groups.

Is the fee for Introductory Industry Members determined in part by geography, like other fees?


If the organization continues after the Introductory Industry Member period, what is their fee?

The then current regular Membership fee.

Do organizations need to be "from industry" to join under this program?

No. While the primary expectation for this program is that organizations in different "industries" such as digital publishing or automotive will take advantage of this program, any organization that satisfies the eligibility criteria may join under this program. However, please note that there are other fees for organizations of different sizes and activities, including a Startup level for small organizations.

Can a multi-partner research project be an Introductory Industry Member?

Yes, if they otherwise qualify as an Introductory Industry Member.

Are subsidiaries of Introductory Industry Members entitled to Membership benefits?

Yes, but subject to the same limitations as the parent organization.

Can an organization that is owned by another join as an Introductory Industry Member in their own right?

Yes. A subsidiary may join under any type of Membership for which they qualify.

Can the Introductory Industry Member fee go up at the second year of an Introductory Industry Membership?

Yes. The fee is calculated according to the then current Member fees. As of August 2014, no fee increases are anticipated in the short term.

What will be the impact of this new program on current W3C Membership?

None. The program is only available to new Members.

What is the difference between W3C Working Groups, Interest Groups, Community Groups, and Business Groups?

We have a table that compares different W3C group types.

Questions? Alan Bird <abird@w3.org>
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