SPARC was approved and funded in 2003 by the Italian Ministry of Research in the framework of the national strategic research program (FISR), and got additional support by the EuroFEL project within the 6th Framework Programme of the EU. The test facility is now completed, hosting a 150 MeV electron beam linac which feeds a 12-metres-long undulator.

The linac has been commissioned and the tests of most critical FEL components have been successfully completed, including High-Order Harmonic Generation (HHG) used for the planned seeding experiment. During the commissioning coherent monochromatic radiation was finally produced by achieving the conditions required for the self-amplification of the spontaneous undulator radiation, known as SASE.

In the near future SPARC will be available to the user community in order to test diagnostics, detectors and techniques for FEL and high-brightness beam based experiments such as production of X-ray pulses by interaction of accelerated electron with 200 TW laser beam, currently under commissioning.