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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A consortium is an association of two or more individuals, companies, organizations or governments (or any combination of these entities) with the objective of participating in a common activity or pooling their resources for achieving a common goal.

Consortium is a Latin word, meaning 'partnership, association or society' and derives from consors 'partner', itself from con- 'together' and sors 'fate', meaning owner of means or comrade.





Five Colleges, Inc. is one of the oldest and most successful educational consortia in the United States. The participants in Five Colleges, Inc. are: Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, Smith College, and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Another example of a successful consortium is the Five Colleges of Ohio of Ohio: Oberlin College, Ohio Wesleyan University, Kenyon College, College of Wooster and Denison University. These consortia have pooled the resources of their member colleges and the university to share human and material assets as well as to link academic and administrative resources.

An example of a non-profit consortium is the Appalachian College Association located in Berea, Kentucky. The association consists of 36 private liberal arts colleges and universities spread across the central Appalachian mountains in Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. Collectively these higher education institutions serve approximately 42,500 students. Six research universities in the region (University of Kentucky, University of North Carolina, University of Tennessee, West Virginia University, University of Virginia, and Virginia Tech) are affiliated with the ACA. These institutions assist the ACA in reviewing grant and fellowship applications, conducting workshops, and providing technical assistance. The ACA works to serve higher education in the rural regions of these five states.


An example of a for-profit consortium was Airbus Industrie ("Airbus"). Formed in 1970, Airbus is one of the world's premier manufacturers of civilian airliners. Airbus is now owned by EADS. EADS itself is a merger of Aérospatiale-Matra of France, Daimler-Chrysler Aerospace of Germany, and Construcciones Aeronáuticas of Spain, which were originally separate partners in the consortium, owning 37.9%, 37.9%, and 4.2%, respectively. BAE Systems owned the remaining 20% but sold this in 2006. Airbus' status as a consortium means that profits accrue to the partner companies representative to their interests. Work is allocated on the same basis as profits.

Another example of a for-profit consortium is a group of banks that collaborate to make a loan—also known as a syndicate. This type of loan is more commonly known as a syndicated loan. In England it is common for a consortium to buy out financially struggling football clubs in order to keep them out of liquidation.

Alyeska Pipeline Service Company, the company that built the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System in the 1970s, initially was a consortium of BP, ARCO, ConocoPhillips, Exxon, Mobil, Unocal, and Koch Alaska Pipeline Company.


Consortium also means the familial relationship between husband and wife in the legal term loss of consortium.

See also

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