High Resolution Numerical Weather Prediction Project
Website of the ALADIN Consortium
Events and Story
Article published on 15 June 2005
last modification on 15 September 2008

by Patricia

 2003-2004 : Towards an answer to the RTN call within the 6 FP

ALADIN Training NETwork (ALATNET) was the name of a project (1st March 2000 - 29 February 2004) supported by the 5th FP of the European Community. It aimed at diversifying and widening the international research effort arount the Numerical Weather Prediction Limited Area Model ALADIN.

During the ALATNET workhop on scientifics results in Kiralyret (Hu) on 15-17 October 2003, members of all SRNWP consortia (ALADIN, HIRLAM, COSMO, UK) were invited to attend the presentations of the work carried out in the framework of the ALATNET project. It was also the opportunity to think about the future training activities, workshops and seminars at the SRNWP consortia. The idea of a new network within the 6th FP was launched.
Météo-France was chosen as potential co-ordinator.

During the dedicated SRNWP session of the 26th EWGLAM and 11th SRNWP joined meetings in Oslo (4-7 October 2004), it was decided to answer the next call for proposal of Research Training Networks within the 6th FP of the European Commission.
A preliminary proposal for such a network was debated.

Stormnet preliminary proposal

The deadline was very tidy and an intensive exchange of ideas and proposals begun by email.

Jean Quiby, SRNWP co-ordinator, came a few days to Toulouse at the end of November to help to finalize the proposal.

 2004/12/01 : First stage proposal

On December the 1st at 13:02 CET, STORMNET was submitted to the first stage evaluation of the E.U. 6th Framework Programme, call Marie Curie Research Training Networks.

The proposal was submitted on-line and includes :

  • title : Scientific Training for Operations and Research in a Meteorological NETwork, a European training network for local short-range high-resolution numerical weather prediction and its applications
  • acronym : STORMNET
  • duration : 48 months
  • Co-ordinator : Météo-France CNRM/GMAP, Dominique Giard
  • Partners : 16 NMS from ALADIN, COSMO, HIRLAM and UK consortium
  • About 940 person.month trained on E.U. funding, i.e. 32 early-stage researchers during 24 to 36 months per person.

An acknowledgement of receipt of proposal was sent on December 3rd to Dominique Giard as STORMNET co-ordinator. The proposal reference number is FP6-019391.

 Stage 1 evaluation

march 11, 2005 : Stage 1 evaluation results of the call FP6-2004-Mobility-1 are on-line on the E.U website.

Unfortunately, STORMET has got a "B" status i.e. NOT invited to Stage 2 (submission of the full proposal).

We will receive an official notification of this result with an Evaluation Summary Report with the evaluators’ marks and comments. For sure this document will be useful to answer another call ... Hopefully, we will be more successfull next time.

 STORMNET discussion, Bratislava, June 7, 2005

Besides the ALADIN annual workshop and taking advantages of the attendance of representatives of most STORMNET partners, a STORMNET discussion took place in Bratislave on June 7, 2005.

This report also includes the outcome from informal discussions during the workshop and further contributions from Gerard Cats, Jean Quiby and Dominique Giard.

A brief summary of the current situation is presented : first STORMNET partners and proposal, partners willing to apply for the next call, comments of the referee, calendar for the next call. 15 out of 16 partners expressed the whish to apply for the next call (no news from Ireland, up-to-now; neither from Laboratoire d’Aérologie, associated partner of CNRM)

  • the next call should be published on June 17, with a deadline on September 28, 2005. Due to summer holidays, a quick contact will be necessary after the publication of the call. First deadline for exchanges abou2. Complementary skills:t the contents of our new proposal is June 28. All partners should send the names of 2 contact points allowing to join them all along summer.
  • All informations about the new call will be on-line as soon as the call is published on the stormnet webpage.

Here are some suggestions to address reported weaknesses in the evaluation of the first submission.

1. A narrow range of skills in data handling and software development; five research/education institutes:

  • It is important to stress that the participating National Weather Services either have a strong NWP research department (substantiated by the facts that they often employ university professors, and have significant experience in training PhD students : to be documented by each partner) or have a very close cooperation with universities on research (substantiated again by the fact that they often employ university professors; that they welcome students for master and PhD theses;and that university researchers often use the state-of-the-art high performance computer facilities available at the National Weather Service). Further more, it must be underlined that research on NWP does not rely on Universities in Europe.
  • Because many other "weaknesses" are of similar kind, it does not hurt to repeat this sentence (in different variations, of course) a few times.
  • Maybe more Universities should be added as associated partners anyway, even if their cooperation is not fully required.
  • It is also sensible to reduce the number of PhD students, from 2 per partner on average to 2 per partner maximum.

2. Complementary skills:

  • All participating National Weather Services have contacts with the end-users of their products, in varying degrees of formality. Thus, within each NWS there is extensive knowledge and feel on the societal and ethical issues related to weather and weather forecasts. The ESRs will participate in the service’s communications with the end users, and thus be trained in several complementary skills, e.g. communications with users, forecasting, considerations of societal and ethical nature, IPR, of NWP research and applications. This will also provide basic insight in problems encountered in the field of management of research, in particular the distribution of available resources over long- and short-term research, or research aimed at increasing general knowledge versus immediate user wishes.
  • Local training to "foreign" languages and culture is to be emphasized, as well as training to communication via publications in reviews / newsletters, seminars or participations to international workshops; "recruitment" is to be mentioned.

3. Some missing partners ?:

  • We didn’t understand this remark. From the point of vue of the national meteorological services, we cannot see any "big" important partner ?
  • Jean Quiby will contact partners from Italy, which may be considered by E.U. as an important missing partner : NMS first, in case the administrative problems are solved, the regional service of Emilia-Romagna together with the University of Bologna afterwards. Spain will also contacted once again.
  • Adding more Universities as associated partners is also to be considered in this framework.

4. Interdisciplinary and intersectorial:

  • We assumed this will not be so important anymore in the next call. But we may have to re-think this issue the day after tomorrow...

5. Training organization

  • The proposal was clearly misunderstood. Its strengths and the respective parts are to be better highlighted, through reorganization rather than changes in the content. The effort to propose PhD thesis to young researchers must be mentioned, as well as the strong cooperation between NMSs and Universities that should help to the achievement of theses PhD theses, in the host or home countries.
  • As concerns the transfer of knowledge, between NMS, between MNSs and Universities, ..., the importance of (widely open) summer schools, publications (internal or international ones), dedicated website(s), must be stressed.

6. Organisation

  • The initial proposal for the partition of responsibilities is to be detailed, and it was proposed to add a famous experienced scientist (Jean-François Geleyn) as scientific consultant (with his agreement). The following is proposed :
    • level a : head of project
    • level b : head of administration and finance
    • scientific consultant
    • heads of (thematic) streams
    • level c : tutors
    • heads of NWP teams
  • It remains to:
    • define the responsibilities of each hierarchical level
    • define how the communication will be ensured (between hierarchical levels, within each hierarchical level)
    • define the kinds of meetings (between hierarchical levels and inside hierarchical levels) that must be established with their respective frequency
    • define the kinds of written reports needed (to whom and with which frequency).