ETP4HPC to support ECMWF’s technology agenda for Destination Earth

8 March 2022

The European Technology Platform for High-Performance Computing (ETP4HPC) and the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) have started cooperating on specific technology topics surrounding Destination Earth, the European Union’s initiative to create a digital twin of the Earth System. ETP4HPC will work with its partners from the TransContinuum Initiative (TCI) which includes some of the leading European actors in digital technologies.   

Destination Earth is an ambitious scientific endeavour with a large technological component. Anticipating the challenges ahead ECMWF issued a request for proposals for its Strategic Technology Agenda within DestinE, awarded to ETP4HPC in September 2022.  

“ETP4HPC is very proud to contribute to the ambitious DestinE programme helping ECMWF in identifying the digital technologies across the Digital Continuum that will best ensure the success of the DestinE digital twins. Together with our partners from the TransContinuum Initiative, we bring an outstanding pool of expertise that covers the full breadth of ECMWF’s  Strategic Technology Agenda for DestinE, from HPC to cloud computing, high-bandwidth networking, IOT and edge computing, data driven AI, mathematical method and cyber security.” said Michael Malms, technical coordinator of the ECMWF-DestinE project at ETP4HPC. 

Thomas Geenen, Technology Partnership Lead for Destination Earth at ECMWF says the agreement with ETP4HPC will ensure ECMWF implication in DestinE is supported by the leading experts in the European HPC ecosystem.

“The digital technology ecosystem is complex and constantly evolving. The proven excellence of ETP4HPC is a great asset to adapt our technologies step by step, setting clear priorities for our roadmap.” 

As most of the challenges will materialise in the course of the deployment of ECMWF digital twins for DestinE, the collaboration will focus on identifying specific digital technology developments that will be key in the future, and providing advice on how ECMWF can implement them as Destination Earth evolves.   

ETP4HPC will present solutions in the form of strategic recommendations via white papers.  EMCWF and ETP4HPC teams have already identified several high priority items mainly focused on the federation of research infrastructures as well as interoperability and portability challenges across the digital continuum.  

As a part of the agreement, ETP4HPC and its partners will also review ECMWF’s technology implementation plan for DestinE and contribute to the construction of a technology roadmap for the next 6 years that will also help forming critical partnerships in this domain.  

A partner at the heart of Europe’s HPC ecosystem  

Since 2012, ETP4HPC has been the main European think-tank gathering actors of the HPC industry and users ranging from large corporations to small companies and researchers. The association is a member of the EuroHPC Joint Undertaking (EuroHPC JU) and produces the Strategic Research Agenda (SRA) that defines the strategic priorities and roadmaps for supercomputing – now in its 5th edition. The SRA has been an important contribution to the assessment of the European Commission’s funding priorities and the establishment of the present HPC ecosystem.

TransContinuum initiative (TCI) 

In recent years, the need to develop digital technologies as a truly interdisciplinary action has led to the formation of the TCI – a collaboration platform of 8 European technology associations: 

  • 6G IA the 6G Infrastructure Association 
  • AIOTI, the Alliance of Internet Of Things Innovation 
  • BDVA/DAIRO, the Big Data Value Association 
  • ECSO, the European Cybersecurity Organisation 
  • EPoSS, the European Technology Platform on Smart Systems Integration  
  • ETP4HPC, the European Technology Platform for High-Performance Computing 
  • EU-Maths-In, the European Service Network of Mathematics for Industry and Innovation 
  • HiPEAC project (High Performance Embedded Architecture and Compilation) represented by Ghent University (UGENT) 

The main building blocks for the collaboration of the TCI with ECMWF for Destination Earth have now been set. The TCI technology agenda for ECMWF participation in DestinE is expected to feed into the evolution of the core components of the Digital Twins on Climate Change Adaptation led by the CSC IT Center for Science of Finland and on On-Demand Extremes led by Météo France. 

The ECMWF teams continue to work on developing the continuous component of the Extremes Digital Twin and building the Digital Twin Engine that will provide the software infrastructure needed to perform advanced Earth-system model simulations on EuroHPC architectures, integrate novel observations with simulations, handle big data and ensure that the digital twin framework can interface with ESA’s core service platform and EUMETSAT’s data lake.