ONTOFORCE creates and implements big data fabrics with pioneering patented semantic search technologies enabling linked data at large scale. This results in smarter enterprise information management systems ready for global use in multinationals, SME’s, research institutes, hospitals and patient organizations.

Our mission is to build the best in class, most used linked data platform to easily find insights in the continuously growing amounts of data. We believe that democratizing access to data will allow everyone to find new insights beyond imagination. Creating the unimaginable tomorrow resulting in saving lives. Our Links for Lives mantra.

Our story

ONTOFORCE started in 2011 when the founder of the company, Hans Constandt, was frustrated not being able to find the right information to help his sick kid even though he worked as a data scientist and ‘so called expert’ in a pharma multinational. In his spare time, he started to build the first DISQOVER application to ease access to all relevant open data to find the latest and best information about his kid’s condition. His home-grown project got quite some market traction and this has broadened the scope than just helping his kid. Opening up to a much broader community, and adding and linking many more data sources.

Seasoned entrepreneurs together with support from experts and the Flemish government, his hobby project got out of control. ONTOFORCE was born raising its first money with IMEC iStart and VLAIO. Further seed money from LRM and PMV came in quickly (2013), which was the real start of ONTOFORCE. Hans resigned from Eli Lilly and started working full-time in ONTOFORCE together with a small dedicated start-up team. DISQOVER started to truly scale!

Hans Constandt founder ONTOFORCE portrait

In 2015, ONTOFORCE had to pivot its target audience as selling open data to help patients and researchers only in a B2C model didn’t generate the needed revenue streams. ONTOFORCE started to build an enterprise version with federated search also linking internal data silos. The proposition was built towards a corporate audience, installing it on-premise or in a private cloud environment. The latter has proven to be a success.  Achieving faster growth, starting to work on ARR (Annual Recurring Revenue) and building enterprise ready Big Data Fabrics.

ONTOFORCE still provides an open data platform, which is totally free to use. It serves as the ultimate test-case to clean-up and integrate vast amounts of public data, still serving patients and researchers in need for the latest and freshest data on diseases, indications, genes or drugs. ONTOFORCE has built a strong brand and company culture where excellence, execution, quality, respect and impact with a sniff of unconventional thinking is still helping patients accelerating public and corporate research.

Links for Lives is still our tagline as we truly think democratizing access to data, using smarter linked data fabrics will help save lives using internal, third-party and public data in one easy-to-use interface.

Read our history



The facts

Founded in
Employees on
September 1, 2019
Awards won

Press releases

Semantic Search: From Big Data to Smart Knowledge

In recent years, there has been considerable dialogue on the topic of big data, yet this area still presents big challenges for many companies. Now, semantic search is changing the game by making complex searches available to a broad base of regular data users. The combination of, and interaction between, technologies such as ontologies, linked data and navigable visualization is fueling research. And, the life sciences industry is at the forefront of this movement.


Try the free Community Edition or upgrade to DISQOVER 6.00 Enterprise

Experience the DISQOVER 6.00 Community Edition right now:

  • Create a free account
  • Enjoy unlimited action to public data
  • Access ~150 data sources
  • Create your own dashboards and share them with peers

Contact us to unlock the full DISQOVER experience with the ability to link internal and third-party data sources to create a truly data ecosystem. 

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