The Open Geospatial Consortium has announced that it is offering new and updated categories of Associate Membership, as well as new recruitment incentives. OGC has also increased its membership fees to facilitate the OGC consensus process and to provide a continuing high level of support to members. The new Research Institute/Non Governmental Organization (NGO) Associate membership, available now, provides an affordable way for these organizations to participate in the creation and enhancement of standards that enable the deployment of interoperable spatial solutions. To qualify for this new member category, Research Institutes and NGOs must be legally recognized as independent not-for-profit organizations in their nations of registration. In addition, the University Associate membership has been extended to include Research Centers that are managed and funded as part of a University and the Small Company Associate membership qualifying revenue level has been increased to $2M. OGC has instituted a program, to begin on January 1, 2006, by which existing members can reduce their fees by referring new members. The goal is to encourage more participation in the OGC process and to share the cost of specification development among more stakeholders.
For the first time since its founding in 1994, OGC has updated its fee schedule, increasing fees 10 percent for most categories of membership as of January 1, 2006. The changes are necessary to cover the costs of supporting and improving OGC member services and programs. The new fees will provide for new membership benefits. The OGC is an international industry consortium of more than 280 companies, government agencies, research organizations, and universities participating in a consensus process to develop publicly available interface specifications.