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Wissing: High-profile settlement in Germany

Foundation stone laid for European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasting in Bonn.

Laying of the foundation stone for the new ECMWF building in Bonn (from left): ECMWF Director General Dr. Florence Rabier, Mayor Katja Dörner, State Minister Nathanael Liminski, Federal Minister Volker Wissing, Petra Wessler, President of the Federal Office for Building and Regional Planning, architect Stefan Lippert and BIMA Executive Board Spokesman Dr. Christoph Krupp.

This is a press release from the Federal Ministry for Digital and Economic Affairs and Transport

Construction work has begun on the new campus of the European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) in Bonn. In his speech at the ceremonial laying of the foundation stone, the Federal Minister for Digital and Transport Affairs, Dr. Volker Wissing, welcomed the establishment of the renowned international organization in Germany.

Federal Minister Dr. Volker Wissing: "We are very proud to have attracted such a top-class international organization as the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts to Germany. The ECMWF is a world leader in medium-range weather forecasting and makes an important contribution to weather forecasting and climate research in Europe. In a world that is increasingly characterized by extreme weather events, the further development of meteorological models and forecasts is becoming ever more important. With the new campus, which is planned precisely according to the needs of ECMWF, we want to support the work of the scientists in the best possible way."

"This is a special day for Bonn. The ECMWF is one of the most important settlements of international organizations in Bonn in recent years. The ECMWF fits perfectly into the international profile of our city as a future-oriented climate, science and sustainability location," said Bonn's Mayor Katja Dörner, who once again expressly thanked the federal and state governments for their support and strengthening of Bonn as a location. As a contribution to the time capsule in the foundation stone, the Mayor had chosen the special supplement of the General-Anzeiger Bonn to mark the 75th anniversary of the Basic Law - "as a sign of our strong ties with Europe and its values", said Katja Dörner.

ECMWF is an independent international organization supported by 23 European member states and 11 cooperating countries. It is headquartered in Reading (United Kingdom) with offices in Bologna (Italy) and Bonn. The ECMWF site in Bonn was opened in 2021 and houses ECMWF's EU activities.

ECMWF is the world leader in the field of global medium-term forecasts (up to ten days in advance), monthly forecasts and seasonal forecasts (up to six months in advance). Its products are made available to the European national weather services and thus supplement the forecasts of the German Weather Service in Germany, for example. As an important player in the European Union's Copernicus program, ECMWF provides quality-assured information on climate change, atmospheric composition, flooding and fire hazards, among other things. The center also plays a central role in the development of a digital earth twin as part of the EU "Destination Earth" initiative. In order to be able to continue these tasks after Brexit, ECMWF needed a new location on EU territory.

In the course of a Europe-wide location competition, Germany was awarded the contract for the Bonn site in 2020.The core component of the German bid was the provision of a modern and contemporary ECMWF campus.The first employees moved to Bonn in summer 2021 and will work in the building of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection in Bonn until the new building is completed.

The new ECMWF campus was designed by architects SL/A Stefan Lippert and landscape architects Club L94 and meets high sustainability standards.The plan is for a 17-storey office tower with a glass façade for up to 360 employees with underground parking, a conference building and a canteen.The aim is to provide the ECMWF not only with pure office space, but also a place that reflects the identity of the ECMWF and where science can develop optimally.

The Federal Office for Building and Regional Planning is managing the construction project on behalf of the client, the Federal Agency for Real Estate.The BMDV will make the building available to the ECMWF rent-free.The new building is due to be handed over in 2027.