HealthManagement, Volume 2 / Issue 1 2007

European Software Institute

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Caroline Hommez 

is Managing Editor of (E)Hospital, the Official Journal of the

European Association of Hospital Managers in Brussels, 



ESI-Tecnalia was set up in 1993 as a non-profit technology foundation by the European Commission with the support of

Spain’s provincial Basque Government. Its key mission is to contribute to the development of the Information Society and increase industry competitiveness, by means of knowledge, innovation, continuous improvement and the promotion and dissemination of Information Technology.


ESI’s main activities are focused, on the one hand, on helping the software industry to produce better software, with a higher quality, more cost-effectiveness and efficiency, and do this with the shortest time-to-market cycles.. On the other hand, ESI also develops a wide range of initiatives directed at promoting the acceptance of the Information Society through the use of ICT by citizens and enterprises, above all SMEs and micro-enterprises which traditionally face the highest barriers to adoption.


In line with its mission, ESI focuses its technical activities in a select set of technological areas with two main objectives:

Increasing industry competitiveness in software-intensive organisations.
Technologies for IT Competitiveness help companies to increase their capacity to produce and deliver high quality software systems and services in time and within budget and thereby improve their competitive advantage.


Contributing to the development of the Information Society through the adoption of information technologies.

This objective of the ESI focuses on the development of the Information Society, with specific, regional-based efforts on closing the digital gap which prevents citizens and companies from fully harnessing the immense, value-adding advantages of IT. Its four main planks are Digital Enterprise, Information Security, Knowledge Certification and Accessibility.


ESI and EU R&D Projects

R&D Projects are carried out by close cooperation between ESI members and partners and leading European companies in order to develop highquality technology, addressing current and future market needs. Project results are packaged into technology transfer products and services, with an emphasis on ensuring their real-world effectiveness by means of experimental trials and pilot projects.


Furthermore, ESI is also committed to the establishment of Technology Platforms as a way to closely coordinate and establish synergies with EU framework research programs (such as FP7). An outline presentation of the R&D Technology Platforms and key initiatives at both Spanish and European levels is presented below:



The ESI’s efforts have both immediate and long-term relevance for the healthcare environment in Europe. In a modern hospital, where errors in increasingly- complex IT systems can have grave consequences, the advantage of Quality Technology is self-evident; so too is the drive to align software management activities with business goals – especially as hospitals across Europe face pressures to control costs. Meanwhile, in the fastemerging, real-time e-Health environment, the role of Productivity Technologies which aim at flexibility and interoperability of heterogoneous devices and equipment sourced from a diverse range of vendors, is also difficult to underestimate. The emphasis on reuse and model-based development is also in line with nascent trends across the globe to componentize software processes, while service-centric engineering, in the shape of SoA, is now widely held to be the cornerstone of the futuristic ‘digital hospital’.


In the final analysis, the ESI’s efforts to encourage users (all kinds of users – young and old, tech-savvy and techshy) to adopt new ICT technologies, is among its most laudable attributes. This is, in fact, a shining example of the utilitarian, universalist European model, one which stands in stark contrast to the Darwinian winner-takes-it-all approach in vogue across much of the world.


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Author<br> Caroline Hommez&nbsp; is Managing Editor of (E)Hospital, the Official Journal of the European Association of Hospital Managers in Brussels,&nb

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