Project Start Date

01st Oct 2015


Project End Date

30th Sep 2018


ESCAPE stands for Energy-efficient Scalable Algorithms for Weather Prediction at Exascale.




ESCAPE stands for Energy-efficient Scalable Algorithms for Weather Prediction at Exascale. The project will develop world-class, extreme-scale computing capabilities for European operational numerical weather prediction (NWP) and future climate models. The biggest challenge for state-of-the-art NWP arises from the need to simulate complex physical phenomena within tight production schedules. Existing extreme-scale application software of weather and climate services is ill-equipped to adapt to the rapidly evolving hardware. This is exacerbated by other drivers for hardware development, with processor arrangements not necessarily optimal for weather and climate simulations. ESCAPE will redress this imbalance through innovation actions that fundamentally reform Earth system modelling. ESCAPE addresses the ETP4HPC Strategic Research Agenda 'Energy and resiliency' priority topic, developing a holistic understanding of energy-efficiency for extreme-scale applications using heterogeneous architectures, accelerators and special compute units.

ESCAPE will facilitate a huge step forward in weather and climate modelling and interdisciplinary research on energy-efficient high-performance computing by:

  • Defining and encapsulating the fundamental algorithmic building blocks ('Weather & Climate Dwarfs') underlying weather and climate services. This is the prerequisite for any subsequent co-design, optimization, and adaptation efforts.
  • Combining ground-breaking frontier research on algorithm development for use in extreme-scale, high-performance computing applications, minimizing time- and cost-to-solution.    
  • Synthesizing the complementary skills of all project partners. ECMWF and leading European regional forecasting consortia are teaming up with excellent university research and experienced high-performance computing centres, two world-leading hardware companies, and one European start-up SME, providing entirely new knowledge and technology to the field.

ESCAPE is an integral part of the ECMWF Scalability Programme and supports in particular the Polymitos and PantaRhei projects in view of the future dynamical core developments at ECMWF. ESCAPE will also produce benefit for ESiWACE, the Centre of Excellence in Simulation of Weather and Climate in Europe, as code developments will be made available to the wider community via OpenIFS.

ESCAPE is funded by the European Commission under the Future and Emerging Technologies - High-Performance Computing call for research and innovation actions, grant agreement 671627.

Funded person-months
Overall EU Contribution
Grant Agreement