Negotiations with Italy on ECMWF's new data centre started in March, when a delegation led by Director-General Florence Rabier visited Bologna and Rome. The talks come after ECMWF’s Council mandated Dr Rabier to prepare a high-level agreement with the Italian government on Bologna as the new location of the data centre, for approval by Council at its next session.
ECMWF’s current data centre, which accommodates the high-performance computing facility, is located on the Centre’s premises in Reading, UK. The need to significantly expand it led to a process to identify a new site. A panel of international experts and representatives of ECMWF Member States considered a range of proposals and found that Bologna was the best from the point of view of the requirements and overall interests of ECMWF.