In a bid to strengthen its research relationships in Europe, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Wednesday
announced that it has selected the European
Research Consortium for Informatics and Mathematics (ERCIM) as its new
European host, replacing the French National
Institute for Research in Computer Science and Control (INRIA).
ERCIM was jointly formed by INRIA, the German National Research Center for
Information Technology (GMD — now merged with Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft), and
the Netherlands’ Centrum voor Wiskunde en Informatica (CWI) in 1998 as a
not-for-profit consortium dedicated to the advancement of information
technology and applied mathematics.
By making ERCIM its European regional headquarters — the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology Laboratory for Computer Science (MIT LCS) serves as
the U.S. headquarters and Japan’s Keio University is the consortium’s Asian
base — the W3C hopes to expand its presence across Europe.
“INRIA provided the necessary foundations for European involvement in Web
infrastructure development, and now we have the opportunity to expand into a
new phase,” said Bernard Larrouturou, president of INRIA and general manager
of ERCIM. “Moving the host to ERCIM is consistent with our culture of
incubating new initiatives and our commitment to strengthening the IT
community in Europe. It will enable us to maintain our strong relationship
with W3C while expanding into the boundless resources of a pan-European
network of research institutes — benefiting both ERCIM and W3C.”
ERCIM is currently composed of research institutes from 16 countries. The
W3C said each member institute is a leading research establishment in its
own country with links to both national and international research
communities. In addition, all ERCIM members are national centers,
independent of commercial ties. Each institute has strong involvement in the
research programs of the European Union and joint projects with small and
medium size enterprises as well as large industrial companies.
ERCIM will replace INRIA on Jan. 1, 2003.