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Closer cooperation in weather and earth observation between Germany and Italy

Part of the cooperation will be a Master's degree programme of the CESOC research network, in which the University of Cologne is involved, and the University of Bologna

From left to right: Italian Ambassador Armando Varricchio, Jennifer Morgan (State Secretary and Special Envoy for International Climate Policy at the Federal Foreign Office), Stefan Schnorr (State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport Affairs)

Germany and Italy have concluded an agreement on closer cooperation in the field of meteorology and climatology. The aim is to systematically strengthen research and bilateral cooperation in weather and earth observation. The intergovernmental agreement was signed in Berlin by Stefan Schnorr, State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport (BMDV), his counterpart at the Federal Foreign Office, Jennifer Morgan, and the Italian ambassador Armando Varricchio.

The agreement provides a legally binding framework for various projects so that they can be planned and implemented in the long run. With this, Germany and Italy are setting a strong example, not least in their role as host states of the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF). The goal is to strengthen research in the field of earth observation. The findings gained from this can then also be used by meteorological services in their operations. This helps, for example, to improve the quality of weather forecasts when it comes to droughts and floods. Germany and Italy have been particularly affected by these extreme weather events in recent years.

The agreement essentially comprises the following projects:

1. Creation of a joint Master’s degree programme between the University of Bologna and the Center for Earth System Observation and Computational Analysis (CESOC), a research cooperation of the University of Cologne, the University of Bonn and Forschungszentrum Jülich.

2. Establishment of a German-Italian network for further education among the German and Italian higher education institutions, research institutes and weather and climate services (‘Italia – Deutschland science-4-services network in weather and climate’, IDEA-S4S). Funding is provided for doctoral positions, groups of early-career researchers and research stays. The focus is on droughts and flooding.

Professor Dr Susanne Crewell, one of the founding directors of CESOC: “We are delighted that the agreement between Germany and Italy has been signed after a long period of preparation. CESOC and the University of Bologna have already started working together and are now taking the next step towards establishing a Master's degree programme with official support.”

Press and Communications Team:
Jan Voelkel
+49 221 470 2356

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