IMIA Academic Representative:
Prof. Dr. Andreas Hein
Chairman, Executive Board
OFFIS R&D Division Health



OFFIS in Profile

They strengthen the economy, help people, and change all of our lives: innovations. However, from the insemination of actual information and communication technologies with new ideas to the point of marketability it is a very long road. OFFIS is the short-cut.

A fast knowledge transfer from the research into the economy in competition with international competitors is the deciding foundation for the economic, as well as the social well-being of a country. We have made this transfer our task: As an associated institute of the Carl von Ossietzky University in Oldenburg, OFFIS converts since its formation in 1991, scientific know-how from computer science into prototypes that then are further developed into marketable products by economic partners. Hereby, OFFIS provides for companies and institutions research and prototypical developments – and this at the highest international level.

Energy, health, and transportation – these are the three application-oriented research and development divisions that are now the OFFIS structure. The divisions are pervaded by the knowledge from the different technology fields. The result of this work takes effect on two levels: on the one hand, OFFIS has made nationally, as well as internationally a name for itself as a Center of Excellence for chosen applied fields of computer science and OFFIS developments are used by industries and institutions throughout the world. On the other hand, OFFIS recognizes itself as an innovations motor concerning regional politics through which knowledge remains locally and new sustainable jobs are established for the Northwest.

Furthermore, OFFIS promotes the process at the interface between research and product development with the creation of start-ups and the support of spin-offs. The strong engagement of OFFIS as host of symposiums and seminars for apprenticeships and further education, as well as on an institutional basis with the “Berufsakademie für IT und Wirtschaft Oldenburg” takes effect in the same direction.

Figures and Facts

OFFIS over the years has an average of about 70 projects that it works on simultaneously, mostly in cooperation with over 300 global partners from science and economy. More than 220 employees work in over 6,000 square meters in three neighboring buildings. Thereby, the scientific personnel accounts for just under 85 percent of the OFFIS team. Up to now OFFIS outsourced one holding, six corporations and one limited liability corporation. OFFIS finances itself on an average of roundabout one third of grant benefits from the state of Lower Saxony and by two thirds of third party funding. For this reason, OFFIS stands nationally at the top group of all institutes concerning self-financing.

History with a View into the Future

Few employees, a small budget and unimpressive rented premises: So modest started OFFIS on the 06th of July 1991 at its first inaugural meeting that according to protocol took place exactly from 11:05 to 12:05 in a seminar room at the Oldenburg University. From this beginning emerged little by little one of the most renowned research and development institutes of the German State. With big steps in fact – as for example the intake development shows: in 1992 OFFIS had a complete budget of 760,000 Euros, and at the turn of the millennium it had increased to 5.44 million Euros and doubled yet again in 2007 to 9.64 million Euros. OFFIS is particularly proud of its positive personnel development: from just under 20 employees in 1992, the team grew up to today with more than 220 employees, among them graduates, doctorates, as well as professorships as computer scientists, physicists, engineers and mathematicians – with an average age of about 30 years.

R&D division Health

Challenges of the Future

The demographic changes and the progress in medical technology present new questions for the health system. How can the teamwork of the actors in health care be constructed more efficiently? How can we optimize the support of health care and aftercare? And what must the living and habitation of tomorrow look like to permit the elderly maximum of well-being and independence? The information and communication technologies (ICT) help to find answers to the challenges of the future and to implement them adequately.

OFFIS as a Designer

For many years, OFFIS has researched and developed information technologies for health care and medicine. The epidemiological cancer register of Lower Saxony and the significant participation on the development of the international medical image communication standard DICOM are only two of the numerous examples of the successful OFFIS work. We understand health not only as the absence of sickness, but rather – following the definition of the World Health Organization WHO – as a condition of full physical, mental, and social well-being. Of particular significance to our work is the theme “Ambient Assisted Living,” the technical support of people in their daily lives.

Concrete Applications:
– Medical Device Technologies
– Integration Technologies
– Data Management and Data Analysis
– Intelligent User Interfaces