Bioimaging devices generate a huge amount of high-dimensional data in highresolution format. The sheer amount of data is such that it generally becomes infeasible to visually inspect them all; moreover, it is highly desirable to automatize the extraction of objective quantitative features. These two issues highlight the importance of validated software tools as critical assets in the context of advanced light microscopy.
So far, there has been little direct funding directly dedicated to the development of bioimage analysis software. The current offering, which is rather extensive, is largely the result of a grassroots effort entirely driven by the needs of the users. This is a rather unique situation in science. While this is highly commendable, the need for these tools has been growing steadily; at the same time, more and more scientific projects crucially depend on them. The field is now ripe for some consolidation and organization which, at a minimum, would require some institutional funding to support a large-scale documentation and curation effort, the setup of some common web resources, and the launching of initiatives to promote good practices and software interoperability.
The consortium, OBIA (Open Bio Image Alliance) brings together all the main players in the field.