Press-release 29 September 2015

An international workshop on High Performance Computing is today opening in Rome under the auspices of the European Commission (EC).  As part of its strategy to structure the European HPC-ecosystem, the EC is bringing together

- EXDCI (European eXtreme Data and Computing Initiative)
- ETP4HPC (European Technology Platform for High Performance Computing)
- PRACE (Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe)
- and the European Commission.

The workshop aims to facilitate collaborations between the newly funded Centres of Excellence (CoE), the FETHPC projects (Future and Emerging Technologies: High Performance Computing), PRACE, and ETP4HPC and to foster synergies and establish links between the stakeholders. The climate and weather communities are both represented through ESiWACE (a CoE) and ESCAPE (a FETHPC project). The two projects are starting within the next few days and are using the opportunities offered by the Rome conference to introduce themselves to the communities.

ESiWACE, coordinated by Deutsches Klimarechenzentrum (DKRZ), will substantially improve efficiency and productivity of numerical weather and climate simulation on high-performance computing platforms by supporting the end-to-end workflows in global Earth system modelling for top-of-the-edge HPC environments.

This will be obtained by improving and supporting:

  1. Scalability of models, tools and data management on state-of-the-art supercomputer systems
  2. Usability of models and tools throughout the European HPC eco-system
  3. Exploitability of the huge amount of resulting data.

Joachim Biercamp, Head of the Applications department at DKRZ and coordinator of ESiWACE, said: “Particularly for the weather and climate domain, solutions for cross-cutting HPC challenges will be developed by this new Centre of Excellence. This will range from the development of specific software products to the deployment of user services for both, computing and data storage.”

ESiWACE leverages two established European networks, namely:

  • the European Network for Earth System modelling (ENES), representing the European climate modelling community
  • the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) 

The governance structure that defines the services to be provided will be driven by the European weather and climate science community. Weather and climate computing has always been one of the key drivers for HPC development, with domain specific scientific and technical requirements that stretch the capability and capacity of existing software and hardware to its limits.

By developing solutions for Europe and at European scale, ESiWACE will directly impact on the competitiveness of the European HPC industry by engendering new products, providing opportunities for exploitation beyond the project itself, and by enhancing the skills base of staff in both industry and academia.

ESiWACE will be at once thematic, as it focuses on the HPC application domain of climate and weather modeling, transversal, as it covers several aspects of computational science, and challenge-driven, as climate and weather predictability represents a major societal issue.

The 16 ESiWACE partners are: Deutsches Klimarechenzentrum (DKRZ), European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF), Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS-IPSL), the Max Planck Society (MPG), Centre Européen de Recherche et de Formation Avancée en Calcul Scientifique (CERFACS), Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC), Science and Technology facilities Council (STFC), UK Met Office (MetO), The University of Reading (UREAD), Sveriges meteorologiska och hydrologiska institut (SMHI), National University of Ireland Galway / Irish Centre for High End Computing (ICHEC), Centro Euro-Mediterraneo sui Cambiamenti Climatici (CMCC), Deutscher Wetterdienst (DWD), Seagate Systems UK Ltd. (SEAGATE), ATOS/BULL SAS (BULL), and Allinea Software Ltd. (ALLINEA).


Coordinated by ECMWF and funded by the European Commission, ESCAPE is a programme aiming to prepare weather forecasting systems for the exascale era of supercomputing. ESCAPE (Energy-efficient Scalable Algorithms for Weather Prediction at Exascale) will address the urgent need to adapt forecasting models to the massively parallel supercomputing facilities of the future.

Peter Bauer, Head of ECMWF’s Scalability Programme, said: “This project will help us to continue to improve our forecasts while moving towards more energy-efficient, highly parallel supercomputers. At a time when climate change brings a growing risk of severe weather events and decision-makers increasingly rely on extended forecasting capabilities, our codes and algorithms must be adapted to work efficiently on tomorrow’s computer systems.”

ECMWF and its partners on this project will meet at the Centre’s headquarters in Reading, UK on 1 & 2 October for a kick off meeting, where responsibilities and timelines will be discussed.

ECMWF’s partners in the project are Danmarks Meteorologiske Institut; Deutscher Wetterdienst, l'Institut Royal Météorologique de Belgique, Météo-France, MeteoSchweiz, Instytut Chemii Bioorganicznej Polskiej Akademii Nauk, Loughborough University, National University of Ireland, Galway, Bull SAS, NVIDIA Corporation, and Optalysys Ltd.


Notes to editors

European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts - ECMWF

ECMWF is an intergovernmental organisation supported by 34 States (of which 21 are Member States and 13 are Co-operating States). ECMWF was established in 1975 in recognition of the need to pool the scientific and technical resources of Europe’s meteorological services and institutions for the production of medium-range weather forecasts. Medium-range refers to time periods of 3 to 10 days ahead; however, increasingly, extended forecasts are being produced for monthly to seasonal time-scales.

Today, ECMWF produces global numerical predictions of the weather from the current time up to a year ahead with varying degrees of detail, and the evolution towards Earth system modelling at high resolution creates major scalability and operability challenges.

Media enquiries at

And more information at


Deutsches Klimarechenzentrum, DKRZ (German Climate Computing Centre)

DKRZ is a national supercomputing facility exclusively for Earth system researchers. With its hardware, software, and brainware, DKRZ offers a unique research infrastructure for model-based simulations of global climate change and its effects on various regions of the planet. If it involves climate simulations or climate data, DKRZ is key facility for scientists in Germany. Furthermore, DKRZ is an important partner in national, European, and international collaborations such as the European Network for Earth System Modeling (ENES) and the ICSU World Data System.

Media enquiries at

And more information at