The new ECMWF data centre opens on the site of the Tecnopolo di Bologna and represents a key asset of the regional Data Valley. The centre is housing the new Atos BullSequana supercomputer system, scheduled to begin running operationally mid-2022. The new system will increase sustained performance by a factor of about five compared to ECMWF’s current high-performance computing facility and provides the flexibility to accommodate the latest technologies in supercomputing. It will also facilitate the continuation of investigative work into the field of machine learning in numerical weather prediction, as well as the use of advanced high-performance computing, big data and AI methodologies to create a digital twin of the Earth with a breakthrough in realism. Now ECMWF formally becomes a multi-site organisation, with head offices in the UK, new data centre in Bologna, Italy, and new offices in Bonn
Vincenzo Colla - Emilia–Romagna Region Councilor of economic developement – highlighted that the ECMWF data centre represents just the first step of a wider innovation process. Indeed, a city of science will create 2,500 direct and indirect jobs in the area of the Tecnopolo di Bologna in the next 2 years, redeveloping the unused buildings and grounds of a former tobacco factory. This area won the European selection to host the Data Centre several years ago and now is one of the most advanced hubs for Big Data at global level. In the future, Bologna could also become one of the UN Universities for Human Habitat.