SPARC Europe’s strategic plan 2021-2024 (english | français | español)

The scope

SPARC Europe promotes and works for Open Science/Open Scholarship and Open Education in Europe.  We focus on policy development and advocacy whilst working to bring the benefits, policies and practices of Open to all parts of Europe. This includes helping ensure Open Access to a wide range of research outputs such as articles, books, research data, software and other outputs of importance in the research process.
We promote the FAIR principles to facilitate the re-use of research and education resources to increase the impact of public investments. We stimulate the growth, adoption and use of Open Educational Resources and the development of policy that supports it. Furthermore, we work to secure the foundation of our work in Open Science and Education by helping secure Europe’s Open infrastructure and by exploring opportunities to embrace Open practices in research evaluation.

The value proposition

SPARC Europe’s sole focus is to advance the Open Agenda (Open Access, Open Science and Scholarship, and Open Education) to increase access to all of Europe’s significant publicly-funded outputs of research and education by supporting all actors (including governments, research funders, libraries and service providers) related to Higher Education on this path. Our primary goal is to make Open the norm.

SPARC Europe has a track record in doing this for over 15 years. We work with an extensive network including European institutions such as the European Commission, Europe’s research institutions and universities, governments, research funders and other organisations with allied Open agendas in Europe and abroad; collaboration is central to our work.

SPARC Europe consistently initiates, facilitates, and supports the implementation of opening access to European research and education for all by advocating for Open and the sustainability of Open, and by influencing the strengthening of related policy-making in Europe. Regular international research, publications, engagement and knowledge exchange on Open research and education underpins this work and informs Open research and education communities to further their work.

The vision

Our vision is that open access to European education and research is the default for the Higher Education community, research, education, industry, and for society as a whole.

The mission

Our mission is to provide leadership to Europe’s Higher Education and research communities, and those that support it, to enable the conditions and opportunities to maximise the access and re-use of Europe’s research and educational resources for all whilst respecting diversity and equity.

The target groups

Four primary target groups:

  1. Europe’s research and education policy makers at the European Commission, European Council, national research funders and governments
  2. Europe’s Higher Education and research communities, including research administrators and senior university management, associations of universities and their researchers and teachers, and learned societies
  3. The European academic library community
  4. Open Science and Open Education infrastructure providers


  • Strengthen Open Access, Open Scholarship / Open Science and Open Education policy in Europe and align where possible
  • Advocate for open in research and education
  • Strive to enable more equity in Open so that all those who wish to publish and share research and education resources openly are better enabled to do so
  • Promote diversity in publishing Open research and education
  • Raise the impact of publicly-funded research by reimagining the way that Open research is rewarded and incentivised
  • Help sustain the Open infrastructure/service ecosystem

High-level activities

SPARC Europe focusses its activities on influencing policy and policy development in Europe. Advocacy and information-gathering activities serve to accomplish more Openness to European research and education. We:

  • Track Open Access, Open Scholarship/Open Science and Open Education progress in Europe and share good practice and European experience to promote more openness
  • Stimulate the implementation of FAIR, and encourage change in copyright and open licensing practices to increase the re-use and impact of research and education
  • Identify and promote paths to reward and incentivise Open
  • Stimulate more Open infrastructure with new sustainable models and the funding of Open infrastructure/service ecosystem
  • Work to embed Open Education in Higher Education in Europe and increase Open Education Resources in Europe

How we fund our work

Our work is funded by programme / project funds from not-for profit foundations or by the European Commission and by annual contributions mainly from the research and library community in Europe. This enables us to carry out the work defined in our strategy under high-level activities year on year.

The budget for 2020 was 261,121 euros. SPARC Europe’s assets are limited in size and they are held in a Dutch bank account. Our financial report is annually approved by the SPARC Europe Board in the first quarter of the following year. Funds in 2020 covered staff costs which include: salary costs, consultancy costs for research, policy expertise, copy-editing, marketing, design, communications and technical support. Office costs included financial administration, legal costs, insurance and website development. Operating costs included board meeting costs, travel costs, specific project, tool or service deliverables and marketing and communications outputs.

Making Open the default