The ParaView project started started in 2000 as a collaborative effort between Kitware Inc. and Los Alamos National Laboratory. The initial funding was provided by a three year contract with the US Department of Energy ASCI Views program. The project announcement can be found here. The first public release, ParaView 0.6, was announced in October 2002.
Independent of ParaView, Kitware started developing a web-based visualization system in December 2001. This project was funded by Phase I and II SBIRs from the US Army Research Laboratoryand eventually became the ParaView Enterprise Edition. PVEE significantly contributed to the development of ParaView's client/server architecture.
Since the beginning of the project, Kitware has successfully collaborated with Sandia, Los Alamos National Laboratories, the Army Research Laboratory and various other academic and government institutions to continue development. The project is still going strong!
In September 2005, Kitware, Sandia National Labs and CSimSoft started the development of ParaView 3.0. This was a major effort focused on rewriting the user interface to be more user friendly and on developing a quantitative analysis framework. ParaView 3.0 was released in May 2007.