The European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) is an independent international organisation, supported by 24 European states. The objectives of the Centre include the provision of medium-range forecasts to the meteorological offices of its Member States and Co-operating States, maintaining a data archive, assistance in advanced education, and assistance to the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) in implementing its programmes.
ECMWF has a wide-ranging programme of research and development directed at improving the quality and variety of forecast products for the medium range and beyond. ECMWF operates a large data centre and archive. The available computing resources are shared between its operational activities, in-house research staff and external users located throughout Europe.
In addition to the benefits already provided by the Centre's activities, the projected improvements in forecast accuracy and forecast products will bring substantial further benefits to European governments, economies and civil society. These benefits will be realised by drawing on extensive collaboration across Europe.
ECMWF will be responsible for managing and co-ordinating the meteorology activity in SIMDAT project. ECMWF will bring to the project its expertise in security, high performance computing, management of large databases and development of middleware. A unique specific team will be created at ECMWF in charge of achieving a prototype of the Virtual Global Information System Centre. This team will work permanently in liaison with the other partners.
Together, the meteorology partners will build, operate and support a prototype of the data Grid using the output of the SIMDAT technology activity. It is planned to evolve this test bed to a comprehensive grid for the VGISC by the end of the project. It will also provide a significant experience of distributed databases in operational environments.