Incubation Stage Projects


The Incubation Stage is designated for new or early-stage projects that are aligned with the LF AI & Dat mission and require help to foster adoption and contribution in order to sustain and grow the project. Incubation projects will receive mentorship from the TAC and are expected to actively develop their community of contributors, governance, project documentation, and other variables that factor in to broad success and adoption.

Projects in the Incubation Stage are generally expected to move to Graduation Stage within 12-18 months following an evaluation by the TAC committee.

Acceptance Criteria

To be considered for Incubation Stage, the project must meet the following requirements:

  • The project uses an OSI-approved open source license
  • The project does not have dependencies on components that are either proprietary or licensed under a non OSI-approved license
  • Submit a completed Project Contribution Proposal to the TAC via a Github pull request ( along with a short and a short email notification to
  • Provide such additional information as the TAC or GB may reasonably request
  • Demonstrate a substantial ongoing flow of commits and merged contributions
  • Have a healthy number of committers. A committer is defined as someone with the commit bit; i.e., someone who can accept contributions to some or all of the project
  • Be deemed by the TAC and GB to add value to the artificial intelligence, machine learning and/or deep learning space and to fall within the mission and scope of LF AI & Data
  • Agree to transfer any relevant trademarks to The Linux Foundation or its affiliate, LF Projects, LLC, and to assist in filing for any relevant unregistered ones. In the case of projects with established trademarks where a trademark transfer is difficult, we generally recommend the project begin operations under a new name. Note that no patent or copyright assignment is necessary in order for a project to join LF AI & Data effort


  • The project has the right to refer to the project as an “LF AI & Data Foundation Incubation Project”
  • Appointment of an existing TAC member that will act as a sponsor of the project and provide recommendations regarding governance best practices
  • Promotion of the project, new releases via the LF AI & Data blog and social media channels
  • Access to LF AI & Data booth space at various events for demo purposes based on availability
  • Collaboration opportunities with other LF AI & Data projects


  • If a project does not move from incubation to graduation within 18 months of joining LF AI & Data, the TAC needs to revisit the project, support the project on meeting the graduation requirements or consider moving the project to Emeritus stage

Graduation Stage Projects


Graduation stage projects are projects that are aligned with the LF AI & Data mission and have achieved significant growth of contributors and adopters, are important to the ecosystem, and are eligible for foundational financial support.

Acceptance Criteria

To be accepted as a Graduation Stage, a project must meet the Incubation Stage requirements plus:

  • Have a healthy number of committers from at least two organizations[1]
  • Have achieved and maintained a Core Infrastructure Initiative Best Practices Badge
  • Demonstrate a substantial ongoing flow of commits and merged contributions
  • Document current project owners and current and emeritus committers in and files; copy of the project’s charter (or other authorized governance document) shall be included or linked to in a or in a similar file
  • Receive the affirmative vote of two-thirds of the TAC and the affirmative vote of the GB


  • The project has the right to refer to the project as an “LF AI & Data Graduation Project”, which signals to the market that the project has reached a high level of technical maturity with confidence in its  and readiness for deployment
  • Projects designed as Graduation Projects by the GB get a voting seat on the TAC
  • Promotion of project, new releases via LF AI & Data blog or press release, and social media channels
  • Graduation projects are eligible to request and receive support contingent on GB approval. The ability for a company to be represented on the GB and influence the internal GB process is highly beneficial to projects making such requests
  • Priority access to LF AI & Data booth space at various events for demo purposes
  • Graduation projects have a technical lead appointed for representation of the project to the TAC
  • Collaboration opportunities with other LF AI & Data projects

Emeritus Stage Projects


Emeritus projects are projects which the maintainers feel have reached or are nearing end-of-life. Emeritus projects have contributed to the ecosystem, but are not necessarily recommended for modern development as there may be more actively maintained choices. The Foundation appreciates the contributions of these projects and their communities, and the role they have played in moving the ecosystem forward.


Projects in this stage are not in active development. Their maintainers may infrequently monitor their repositories, and may only push updates to address security issues, if at all. Emeritus projects should clearly state their status and what any user or contributor should expect in terms of response or support. If there is an alternative project the maintainers recommend, it should be listed as well. The foundation will continue to hold the IP and any trademarks and domains, but the project does not draw on foundation resources.

Acceptance Criteria

Projects may be granted Emeritus status via a 2/3 vote from the TAC and with approval from project ownership. In cases where there is a lack of project ownership, only a 2/3 vote from the TAC is required.

Annual Review Process

The TAC will undertake an annual review of all LF AI & Data projects. This annual review will include an assessment as to whether each Incubation Stage project is making adequate progress towards the Graduation stage and whether each Graduation Stage project is maintaining progress to remain at Graduation level.

The suggested time frame for the review is to start on September 1st and ends on October 31st 1 and should end by Oct 31 with a set of recommendations for each project to improve and/or a recommendation to the GB on moving a project across stages.

Projects can be provided with an extension of time in their stage (up to the discretion of the TAC).

Any project may be moved to Emeritus stage by affirmative vote of the TAC, provided that the transition has secured:

  1. An affirmative ⅔ vote of the TAC
  2. An affirmative ⅔ vote of the GB

[1] Since these metrics can vary significantly depending on the type, scope and size of a project, the TAC has final judgment over the level of activity that is adequate to meet these criteria.