The NumFOCUS Mission

Our Mission

The mission of NumFOCUS is to promote sustainable high-level programming languages, open code development, and reproducible scientific research. We accomplish this mission through our educational programs and events as well as through fiscal sponsorship of open source scientific computing projects. We aim to increase collaboration and communication within the data science and scientific computing community.

NumFOCUS is a 501(c)3 public charity in the United States.

Open Code Promotes Innovation & Discovery

Scientific software is a fundamental component of modern research and engineering. The complex calculations and sophisticated analyses made possible by advances in data management and software create new opportunities for discovery and innovation.

“Open source” software — meaning software that anyone may use, inspect, modify, and redistribute — is increasingly the standard in academic research because it promotes accessibility and reproducibility.

Open source software also provides significant benefits for industry and business, allowing for-profit companies to enjoy the efficiencies of freely available, functional public code rather than pay to develop software from scratch. In effect, open-source acts as a shared pool of public research and development (R&D) that companies can use directly and leverage to build solutions.

Deep Expertise

NumFOCUS connects the community with expertise from knowledgeable and trusted sources.

  • Our Corporate Sponsorship Program provides a vehicle for communication and collaboration between projects and industry.
  • Our Research Partnerships Program provides guidance on how educational and research institutions can better support scientific software development, maintenance, research, and advancement.
  • Our Sustainability Program provides a model for how projects can promote their own long-term health from within.
  • Our Diversity & Inclusion in Scientific Computing (DISC) Program provides guidance on how to best promote diversity and inclusion within open source data science communities. We believe that diversity drives innovation and discovery.
  • Our PyData global network is a community-driven educational program that promotes discussion of best practices, new approaches, and emerging technologies for data management, processing, analytics, and visualization.

How We Support Open Source

NumFOCUS provides a stable, independent, and professional home for the open source projects powering contemporary scientific inquiry and business processes. We aim to ensure that funding and resources are available to sustain projects in the scientific data stack over the long haul.

Learn more about our Fiscal Sponsorship Program.

What’s In a Name?

Our first Treasurer, Anthony Scopatz, came up with the name “NumFOCUS” as an abbreviation for “Numerical Foundation for Open Code and Useable Science.” (This is why you will sometimes see us referred to as “NumFOCUS Foundation.”) While officially the NumFOCUS name isn’t an abbreviation for anything, our mission supports open code as the foundation for useable and reproducible science—in other words, Open Code = Better Science.


Science needs open-source software.

Osvaldo Martin, Supporting Member