ERCIM has been the host of the European headquarters of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) since 2003. ERCIM and W3C aim to strengthen research relationships throughout Europe to better support the development of Web technology and to jointly share the results of their collaboration.

Three of the European Chapters are currently based at ERCIM institutes, namely at CWI (Benelux), FORTH (Greece) and SZTAKI (Hungary). Originally, W3C Offices were located at the ERCIM institutes CWI, Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, FORTH, SZTAKI, CNR, RISE/SICS and STFC). W3C Chapters in Europe work with their regional Web communities to promote W3C technologies in local languages, broaden W3C's geographical base, and encourage international participation in W3C activities. Specifically, the W3C Chapters help organize meetings and workshops.

As a consortium of members from many European countries, ERCIM creates a balance between European diversity and necessary homogeneity by building bridges between different cultures and facilitating the movement of technical ideas within academia and across borders. W3C is steered by its members, having interests in the Web (such as HTML5, Web Privacy and Security, Web payments, Web of Things, etc..) whereas ERCIM jointly has widespread interest in many research fields where Web standards are rarely used. ERCIM then helps to gather those Web communities and make them work together.

Moreover, ERCIM members have strong ties with industrial partners and start-up companies. This is an excellent opportunity for W3C to enlarge its cooperation with European industry, which can broaden its participation in the making and adoption of standards.

Finally, hosting the W3C allows ERCIM members to benefit from the know-how and expertise of the W3C team, and to increase its visibility based on W3C's worldwide reputation. The joint efforts of ERCIM and the W3C have started to increase Web research cooperation in Europe.