The Information Management Systems Institute (IMSI) is a leading research institute in Greece and a Centre of Excellence for research, development, and innovation in the areas of large-scale information systems and Big Data management. IMSI lies within the “ATHENA” Research and Innovation Center in Information, Communication and Knowledge Technologies, which is the first research center in Greece with a focus exclusively on Information Society.
ATHENA R.C. was established in Athens in 2003, and it is a research and technology organization supervised by the General Secretariat for Research and Innovation of the Ministry of Development and Investments. The “Institute for the Management of Information Systems (IMIS)” was founded in 2007 with the mission to conduct research in the areas of data management and information systems. In 2017, the former name of the Institute changed to the current name “Information Management Systems Institute”, as decided by the Management Board of the ATHENA R.C. Accordingly, the short name became IMSI in the place of the former short name IMIS.
IMSI is today one of Greece’s premier research institutes in the areas of large-scale information systems and Big Data management. Over the past few years, IMSI researchers have been very successful in attracting and implementing numerous cutting-edge research and development projects, at both the national and international level. Furthermore, IMSI has created strong collaborative ties with top European research institutions and has successfully promoted the development and use of state-of-the art information systems platforms and tools in both local industry and various Greek government organizations.
IMSI has become a reference point and a pole of attraction not only for highly qualified scientists and students working in the areas of information systems, databases, and Big Data technologies, but also for the dynamic Greek and European private sector in information technologies. IMSI continuously seeks to (a) engage in first-class, novel, internationally competitive research activities by successfully combining fundamental work and an applied orientation, (b) pursue collaborations with research teams of complementary expertise in its areas of interest, and (c) maintain societal and industrial relevance.
The main scientific areas of focus for IMSI include:
- Big Data and Scalable Data Analytics
- Machine Learning and Knowledge Discovery
- Large-Scale Information Systems
- Data Privacy and Data Marketplaces
- Blockchain Systems
- User-Centric Systems and Applications
- Cloud-based Platforms and Data Services
- Big Data Research Infrastructures
Research at IMSI ranges from basic to applied, and has a strong collaborative aspect, as it is typically conducted with national and international partners from industry as well as academia, in the context of innovative R&D projects.
The mission of IMSI is to conduct cutting-edge scientific research, and exploit research results in the development of novel core technologies, prototypes, applications, and products in its areas of expertise, including information and knowledge management, large-scale information systems and applications, databases and Big Data management systems, cloud-based platforms and services, Machine Learning and knowledge-extraction technologies, and Digital Curation. To this end, IMSI had brought together a team of internationally-known experts from a broad range of related disciplines (such as databases, systems, algorithms, and machine learning) under an environment promoting excellence in research, collaboration, and interdisciplinarity.
More specifically, IMSI’s mission includes:
- Research and development in advanced computer and information systems with targeted applications in industry, society, and the real economy.
- Implement large research and development projects in the area of information systems technologies, in collaboration with academic, research, and industrial partners.
- Collaborate with the academic community in efforts involving research, education, and the transfer of knowledge and results to the information and software systems industry.
- Develop experimental and industrial information systems prototypes, as well as innovative products and services, in collaboration with industrial partners.
- Design, develop, operate, maintain, support, and evolve innovative infrastructures for data storage and analytics in various application domains (e.g., bioinformatics, precision medicine, natural sciences).
- Support international research and academic activities (at both the EU and global level) in computer science through competitive research programs and collaboration agreements/contracts with academic institutions and industrial partners.
- Transfer and exploit cutting-edge research results and technologies to industry, through the development of innovative products and services, as well as the founding of technology spinoff companies.
- Support the Greek public sector in developing novel technological solutions that emphasize the exploitation of Big Data and digital services for improving processes and services offered to society.
IMSI is creating knowledge and technologies in some of the most aggressively developing sectors of the economy, such as Big Data Analytics and Machine Learning. Apart from scientific research, IMSI is also contributing to society in the following ways:
- It participates in high-profile EU and national infrastructures (including, OpenAIRE, ELIXIR, EOSC, and Apollonis) that support scientific research at the national and international level.
- It is a leading partner in flagship research efforts at both the EU and national level – prominent examples include The Human Brain Project (HBP) and the Greek Precision Medicine Initiative.
- It transfers knowledge to the industry through several EU and national projects.
- It contributes to educating and training new scientists and reversing brain drain, by participating in graduate education programs as well as funding and supervising MSc and PhD candidates.
- It attracts large amounts of competitive funding from national and international sources compared to its basic state funding.
IMSI consists of Departments responsible for carrying out research and development activities, and for providing administrative support. The Departments of IMSI are the following:
- Department of Big Data Analytics and Machine Learning
- Department of Big Data Research Infrastructures
- Department of Cloud Platforms and Data Services
- Department of Distributed and Web Information Systems
- Department of User-centric Systems and Applications
- Department of Coordination and Administration