About OME

We are a multi-site collaborative effort among academic laboratories and a number of commercial entities.

OME logo

The Open Microscopy Environment

We produce open tools to support data management for microscopy. Designed to interact with existing commercial software, all OME formats and software are free, and all OME source code is available under the GNU General public license or more permissive open source licenses, or through a commercial license from Glencoe Software. Discover our tools on FAIRSharing.

The OME Teams

OME developers are based in universities and research institutes around the world.

Meet the Teams


We receive direct contribution to the OME software from groups and individuals.

See the List

Commercial Partners

We collaborate with commercial imaging hardware and software manufacturers on their projects.

Get a Commercial License

Project Goals

OME seeks to build specifications and software that allow scientists open, flexible, scalable and performant access to their imaging data.

OME is committed to building and releasing high quality, open source, well-supported software for the scientific imaging community. Our tools should work regardless of location, processing environment or data type.

The project’s foundation is an open metadata specification, the OME Data Model. This defines and describes the metadata elements and relationships that the project uses and supports. Using this specification, we build and release:

OMERO logo


An enterprise image data management platform that enables access, processing, sharing, analysis and where appropriate publication of scientific image data and metadata.

Bio-Formats logo


A software plug-in that reads >140 proprietary file formats and converts them to an open, OME-based model that any software can use.

OME Files logo

OME Files

A reference implementation that reads and writes OME-TIFF, an open file format that combines the popular, broadly supported TIFF format for storing binary pixel data, with an OME-based XML metadata header.

All of OME’s work and projects are funded by peer-reviewed grants are undertaken as collaborations with academic, industrial or commercial partners, so that the development of new tools and capabilities is always tied to real world, scientific use cases. Each individual partnership produces specific extensions to Bio-Formats and OMERO and these are always distributed to the global OME community to maximize the return and benefit of work and investment.


OME is funded through several grants from UK and EU agencies. Our current work is funded by the following:

Wellcome Trust Biomedical Resource Grant (Ref: 212962/Z/18/Z)
Wellcome Trust Technology Development Grant (Ref: 221361/Z/20/Z)
BBSRC BBR Research Grant (Ref: BB/R015384/1)
NIH Common Fund (Ref: 1UM1HG011593-01)
European Commission (“EOSC-Life”) (Ref: H2020-INFRAEOSC-2018-2)

The OME Consortium

The members of the OME consortium are as follows:

Prof Jason Swedlow Division of Computational Biology, School of Life Sciences, University of Dundee
Prof Richard Baldock MRC Human Genetics Unit, Edinburgh
Prof Rafael Carazo Salas University of Cambridge
Dr Alvis Brazma European Bioinformatics Institute, Cambridge
Dr Edouard Bertrand Montpellier ROI Imaging Montpellier
Prof Gaudenz Danuser UT Southwestern
Dr Ilan Davis University of Oxford
Mr Kevin Eliceiri University of Wisconsin-Madison
Prof Paul French Imperial College London
Dr Robert Murphy Carnegie Mellon University
Dr Spencer Shorte Institut Pasteur
Dr Gianluigi Zanetti CRS4, Sardinia

Growing the OME Consortium

The OME Consortium welcomes research groups undertaking development of OME tools or integrations to get more involved.

Examples of OME’s resources are used in the following:
PerkinElmer’s Columbus®
Bitplane’s Imaris
Places that publish image data with OMERO and Bio-Formats:
JCB DataViewer
Stowers Data Repository
The Cell: An Image Library
SSBD Database
Protein Data Bank Europe
Griffith University: Microscopy Library Public Collections
Electron Microscopy Public Image Archive (EMPIAR)

Community Standards

The OME Consortium participates in community-driven standardization processes wherever possible.

OME-driven activities are collected in the OME Collection as a part of the Fairsharing community:
Fairsharing logo
OME Collection
Image Data Resource (IDR)
OME-XML Format

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