The International Conference on Regional Climate – CORDEX 2013 illustrated the tremendous growth of, and interest in CORDEX. It was clear that CORDEX now requires even stronger global coordination with the appropriate administrative, scientific and technical support to respond to expanding activities worldwide therefore justifying the establishment of a dedicated International Project Office for CORDEX (IPOC).
A call to host such office was issued in December 2013, with the initial 1st April deadline extended until 30th April 2014 when three offers were received.
A selection board was established by the WCRP Joint Planning Staff (JPS), in close consultation with the CORDEX Science Advisory Team (SAT) and with due consideration of CORDEX governance, expertise in regional climate science and application, and geographical and gender balance.
The review process was conducted in two phases:
- an independent evaluation based on the two main criteria as set out in the call (the strength of the offer and the ability to fulfill the responsibilities of the office), which was carried out during the week 2th-6th June; and
- a conference call on 10th June to discuss scores and comments so as to provide a recommendation to the new Director of WCRP, David Carlson, who joined us on 13th June.
The selection board reached a consensus in strongly recommending the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI) as the institution to host the International Project Office for CORDEX. This recommendation has now been approved by our Director and we will move ahead in formally establishing the office at SMHI.
The board also made the following recommendations for the office:
- Keep and further develop a global perspective and role beyond the EU realm; •
- Leverage existing institutional strengths and resources across the community to enhance training and capacity building activities (for example ICTP and centres in Asia and Latin America) and data management support (DMI and other CORDEX data nodes);
- Support resource mobilization for CORDEX regions, especially in developing countries;
- Ensure close liaison with both the CORDEX Scientific Advisory Team (SAT) and the Working Group on Regional Climate (WGRC) to define both the office and CORDEX scope of activities and linkages with user communities.
WCRP is truly grateful to all applicants for putting forward very strong offers and for their continued engagement in WCRP, and is now looking forward to establishing the International Project Office for CORDEX at SMHI during late 2014