ECMWF’s (European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts) new data centre to be located in Bologna, Italy, by 2019

ECMWF’s (European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts) new data centre to be located in Bologna, Italy, by 2019


ECMWF Member States, gathered in Reading for the 90th session of the Centre’s Council, 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 Italian proposal to host the Centre’s 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 session of Council.

After discussions and votes, representatives of ECMWF’s Member States were satisfied with the high-level agreement proposed by Italy and approved Bologna as the host city for ECMWF’s new data centre. 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 European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) is  an intergovernmental organisation supported by 34 states which provides medium-term weather and climate forecasts, as well as strategic information for both civil use (from aeronautics to geological protection) and national defense.

Bologna and its Technopole was the Italian “winning horse” to compete at Europen level with three UK cities, Luxembourg, Finland’s Espoo and Iceland’s Akureyri. Following the recommendation of its Evaluation Panel the ECMWF’s Council of Member States choose the Italian proposal that is considered the best from the point of view of the requirements and the overall interests of ECMWF.

Bologna, apart from being known around the world for its high scientific and cultural level (several universities, research centres, laboratories and technological infrastructure) has become over the years the Italian capital of high performance computing, data management services, big data processing. Bologna is also the main Italian hub of research and knowledge in the field of weather and climate change: the main research institutes and major agencies in meteorological and climate sector are located in Bologna (CMCC, CNR, ENEA), as well the most relevant European Community for research and innovation in the field of climate change, Climate-KIC (initiative of EIT-European Institute of Technology), which has its Italian branch HQ in Bologna. As evidence of this, the Italian proposal was precisely coordinated by ASTER, Emilia-Romagna Hub for Innovation and core partner of Cimate-KIC.

Project Partnership:

  • Institutions
    • Ministry of Education, University and Research (in charge of sending the proposal to ECMWF)
    • Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation
    • Ministry of Economics and Finance
    • Emilia-Romagna Region
    • City of Bologna (Climate-KIC Partner)
  • Partners
    • ASTER (Project Manager -(Climate-KIC Core Partner)
    • Finanziaria Bologna Metropolitana (with GMP Group, supplier of Tecnopolo di Bologna project)
    • CMCC (Climate-KIC Partner)
    • Cineca
    • ArpaE (Climate-KIC Partner)
    • Lepida

More information:


Emilia-Romagna Region