The paper will set the scene for challenges facing research libraries in Europe using the the United Kingdom (UK) experience as exemplar. Included will be a look at pan-European development to bring resource discovery to the network layer highlighting two developments: Europeana, Libraries and Research; and, as a case study, the introduction of the Primo search engine into UCL Library Services (University College London) in the UK. In addition, Open Access to research publications and its potential impact on the dissemination of scholarly research outputs will be examined including PEER's (Publishing and the Ecology of European Research) investigation of the effects of the large-scale, systematic depositing of authors’ final peer reviewed accepted manuscripts (so-called Green Open Access) with the aim of providing input for evidence-based policy-making in the area of Green Open Access. Also, two examples of Gold Open Access will be illustrated: Gold Open Access monograph publishing and the development of Gold ‘overlay journals’. This will be followed by a look at Research Data and the importance of data-driven science concentrating on three exemplars from the UK. The requirements for the storage and preservation of research data will be explored and the potential of tools offered by Ex Libris investigated to see what it required. Finally, the paper will map the findings of the paper in terms of network developments, Open Access to research publications, and the storage and re-use of research data against the findings of the opening section – the strategic needs of European research Universities. This paper will end by identifying how the technical developments outlined in the paper need to be aligned with the top-level strategic needs of European Universities in order for research libraries to support their home Universities.