The paper discusses the GOLD project (Grid-based Information Models to Support the Rapid Innovation of New High Value-Added Chemicals) whose principal aim is to carry out research and development into enabling technologies to support the formation, operation and termination of virtual organizations. The paper discusses the outcome of this research, which is the GOLD Middleware infrastructure. The infrastructure has been implemented in the form of a set of Middleware components, which address issues such as trust, security, contract monitoring and enforcement, information management and coordination. We discuss all these issues in turn and more importantly we demonstrate how current WS standards can be used to implement these issues. In addition, the paper follows a top down approach starting with a brief outline on the architectural elements derived during the requirements engineering phase and demonstrates how these elements were mapped onto actual services that were implemented according to service-oriented architecture principles and related technologies.