ECMWF Member States have approved the proposal by the Italian Government and the Emilia Romagna Region to host ECMWF’s new data centre in Bologna. The decision was taken on 22 June at the end of a two-day session of Council, the Centre’s governing body, which includes representatives of all its Member States. The building is to be delivered to ECMWF by 2019 and will host the Centre’s new supercomputers, whilst the Centre’s headquarters are to remain in the UK.
The Italian proposal to host the data centre had been evaluated as part of an international competition and was judged at the beginning of the year to best meet ECMWF’s requirements. Member States then tasked Director-General Florence Rabier with entering into discussions with the Italian Government with a view to having a high-level agreement ready for this Council session.
Dr Rabier said she was delighted with the outcome. “This new facility will allow us to upgrade our high-performance computing capability to the levels required to continue to advance weather science,” she said. “We are extremely grateful to all our Member States, who have taken great care to ensure that ECMWF’s best interests would prevail.” Council President Professor Miguel Miranda added that “today’s decision will enable the Centre to start planning in earnest for the procurement of its next supercomputing system. On behalf of our Council of Member States, I want to join the Director-General in expressing our gratitude to all Member States, who have participated actively in this process.” Italian Minister of Environment Gian Luca Galletti said the decision was “a great success for Italy” and “a responsibility that Bologna will surely honour.”