Almost every organization functions as a consortium of some sort. It’s the working relationships that allow an organization to achieve its mission and goals, while overcoming challenges and driving innovation. But what exactly is a consortium? And why is it important for organizations to start one? 

First off – What is a Consortium?

A consortium is a group of companies that work together to achieve a common goal. It is usually formed by a number of organizations and can be formal or informal in its structure. The consortium may have its own officers, infrastructure, and funding resources. It may also have some type of legal framework that allows it to function as an independent entity from its members. The consortium or allegiance purpose may be to create a product or service, provide information, research and development, impact an industry, or simply share knowledge. It can also be used as an umbrella organization for joint ventures and alliances.

Here are five reasons why you should start a consortium:

1. Work sharing and reduced costs

One of the main reasons why you should consider joining a consortium or alliance is because it allows you to share resources, labor and responsibilities across organizations. This can help reduce costs and save time in creating new products or services. For example, if you are working on a project that requires expensive equipment or software licenses, your company may not be able to afford all of them on its own. Joining a consortium allows you to make use of these resources as well as other benefits like sharing knowledge among its members.

2. Increased credibility

As you build your experience and reputation, consortia can help you gain credibility. Through peer-reviewed publications, leadership roles, and other forms of participation, an association may give you the opportunity to advance your career in your industry or field. Additionally, joining a consortium allows for networking with other professionals in the same industry who can help you achieve your professional goals. A stronger network of peers and experts is not only beneficial for finding viable opportunities but also for building new relationships that will be valuable when applying for jobs down the line. Finally, being associated with an existing credible organization can increase your credibility as well as lend legitimacy to any work that you do on behalf of said organization (or vice versa).

3. Improve chances to achieve organizational goals

Each member in a consortium has an incentive to contribute. This shared incentive causes them to work together towards common goals, and the result is better collaboration and cooperation between members. This is especially true when all parties involved share a vested interest in achieving organizational success by working together (as opposed to working alone). More diverse opinions and perspectives for solutions are brought to the table when dissecting a problem that a member can take up with the technology alliance. Within a consortium, there is a variety of expertise and opinions that increase the chances that a problem can be addressed appropriately instead of having to hire outside consultants for example. Consortiums create better opportunities for attracting new customers as well as investors because they have more credibility than individual companies do on their own—after all, it takes many organizations working together to achieve something significant. Customer or member pools often overlap in an association where everyone can benefit. 

4. Grow your network and knowledge

Consortiums can quench your thirst to both, make higher quality connections and obtain knowledge by providing:

  • Increased access to experts: Whether you’re looking for an advisor, expert or partner, a consortium can help you find the right people.
  • Increased access to organizations: You’ll have greater access to potential partners and customers through member organizations that share your goals and interests, including government agencies and nonprofits.
  • Increased access to conferences: Attendance at conferences is often included, which means less out-of-pocket expense for you as a member of the industry consortium (and more time spent networking with others). Plus, there’s no need for every organization within the consortium to hold its own conference—it’s possible for one conference (or even just one day) per year to serve multiple members’ needs at once!
  • Increased access new markets: If there’s enough demand from other members in your field of interest or expertise, then it might make sense for everyone involved with those topics within each region or country where these businesses are located

5. Access to funding resources

A grant is an award that provides money towards an organization’s project or idea in exchange for specific deliverables and requirements (for example, creating a prototype). In some cases, it can also include salary costs while working on the grant project itself. Once you’re part of a consortium, it’s much easier for you and your team to apply for grants and contracts as well as build partnerships with other organizations that have other funding vehicles.


Consortiums and technology alliances can positively impact any organization or professional. They are not only a great way to share resources, but also provide the chance to expand your network and make connections, increase credibility and knowledge, better achieve your goals, and provide an opportunity to generate funding towards your cause. 

More About IEEE-ISTO

ISTO was established in January 1999 to meet the needs of global emerging technology alliances, industry consortia, trade associations, and other technology collectives. ISTO provides the infrastructure, support and expertise to support standards development efforts and market adoptions of emerging technologies. ISTO offers legal not-for-profit formation, technology association management, executive leadership, financial management, membership administration, web and digital marketing, and more. ISTO is a neutral, safe harbor for industry and government to build relationships, successfully collaborate and fulfill your missions.  

Contact us today for more information on how we can help your organization achieve its goals: