Published January 23, 2023 | Version v4
Working paper Open

Funding Open Infrastructure as a Public Utility: A Preliminary Investigation in Water Utility Funding

  • 1. Invest in Open Infrastructure


In working to understand how a stable and reliable model for funding open infrastructure in research and scholarly communication could be architected, IOI looked at how public utilities, in particular water utilities, are funded around the world. Drawing on some of the preeminent literature and guidance on the topic from widely respected organizations (the OECD, WHO, and IRC), we attempt below to highlight some key lessons for funding a robust infrastructure of open services. Key to this is understanding knowledge as a public good, like water, electricity, and natural gas, and the means by which these vital public goods are best funded for reliable, robust, and sustainable supply in the long term.


This work was funded by Arcadia, a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin. Additional information about how our work is funded can be found here:



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