What is ESPRI ?

The IPSL Computing and Data Center, so called ESPRI (Ensemble de Services Pour la Recherche à l’IPSL), is dedicated to the data management, collection, distribution and services in climate science for observation and modelling data. 

Since 1991, the research federation Institute Pierre Simon Laplace (IPSL) has built a data repository and a collective research framework in the greater Paris region (Ile-de-France) to better understand and model the Earth’s climate system, its evolution and to quantify the impacts of human activities on its various components. Today, the IPSL federation is internationally recognized as a leading authority on climate research. IPSL is a research federation comprising nine laboratories located in or near Paris, whose research topics focus on the environment (see the ESPRI organization chart). These laboratories are developing a common strategy for the study of the Earth System as a whole and for the study of other objects in the solar system. The IPSL laboratories are also developing common observation and modeling tools. 

To support the activities of the 1,500 researchers and engineers in the IPSL laboratories, ESPRI has organized for more than 20 years access to various reference datasets and high-performance computing resources, through a shared, multi-site data analysis platform dedicated to the IPSL laboratories, their partners and climate science worldwide.

In such a context, ESPRI can be understood as a research project repository provided through a full IT infrastructure, distributed on 3 sites, located at Ecole Polytechnique, Sorbonne Université and University of Versailles Saint Quentin.

The ESPRI platform has also enabled processing for several projects of the French National Atmosphere center and services AERIS, including:

  • operational support for several international measurement campaigns ;
  • systematic processing and provision of satellite and ground-based dataset ; 
  • operational support and management of national databases ;
  • development and storage of European projects and international databases (EUROCHAMP-2020, HEMERA-2020, ACTRIS-DC/GRES, ACTRIS-DC/ASC,  ARISE3, GEWEX-CA). 

ESPRI also participates in the ENVRI-FAIR project to advance the FAIRness of atmospheric data in order to improve access to data and services.

From 2022 onwards, ESPRI coordinates the dedicated infrastructure providing climate projections to the C3S of the European Copernicus Programme.

The IPSL Computing and Data Centre (ESPRI) was orn out from several initiatives at the Institut Pierre-Simon Laplace (IPSL) and its laboratories, wishing to share IT resources and joint projects through a numerical facility for research:

  • the ClimServ data centre for the calculation, archiving and distribution of satellite and long-term data at the École Polytechnique,
  • the Ether data and service centre for atmospheric chemistry,
  • the CICLAD calculation server at the Sorbonne University (previously Pierre et Marie Curie University) to which were attached the services related to the storage, analysis and distribution of climate simulations.

A computing and storage infrastructure, including:

  • Different types of storage spaces,
  • CPU and GPU computing servers,
  • Virtualisation products,
  • High-speed network infrastructure,
  • Scientific computing and analysis environment/softwares.

Data management services, including:

  • Data acquisition or production,
  • Data access and processing,
  • Data curation and archiving,
  • Data documentation,
  • Data distribution and publication.

Thus, ESPRI’s activities cover various fields to support multidisciplinary projects carried out at IPSL. It organises, for the last 20 years, access for IPSL laboratories and their partners to different reference data sets and high-performance computing resources. Thus ESPRI plays a transverse role as a shared, multi-site and multi-thematic platform, recognized by the Institut National des Sciences de l’Univers (INSU) from the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and by Sorbonne University.

Did you know ?

In 2021, ESPRI awarded the CNRS collective cristal prize. The “Cristal Collectif” is awarded to teams of men and women working in support of research, who have carried out projects whose technical mastery, collective dimension, applications, innovation and influence are particularly remarkable.

Since 2019, the results of the IPSL CMIP6 (6th Coupled Model Intercomparison Project as a part of the IPCC) simulations are made available through ESPRI facilities. About 1000 climate simulations with more than 1,5 millions datasets have been described and published. In 2022, the IPSL is widely recognized among the 30 CMIP climate modeling groups, with the most important CMIP6 contribution of about 1,6Petabytes of data published on the ESGF (i.e. about 17% of the ESGF catalog).

Organization and team


CTS certification

Since January 18, 2024, IPSL’s ESPRI computing and data center has been certified as a Trusted Data Repository by the international certification body Core Trust Seal.
CoreTrustSeal certifies data warehouses that demonstrate compliance with 17 Core Trustworthy Data Repositories Requirements. These universal requirements, defined by the Research Data Alliance, reflect the essential characteristics of trustworthy data repositories and “FAIR” (Findable Accessible Interoperable Reusabe) practices aimed at improving the use of research data.
To obtain this certification, over the past two years ESPRI’s teams have carried out a major documentary project to describe all the center’s lifecycle data management practices. This work has resulted in the production of the Data Management and Preservation Plan (DMP), available on the ESPRI website, which details the various channels used and the storage, distribution and backup options in force for managing the data of warehouse users.
This certification reinforces the authorization granted by Datacite to the ESPRI center to issue unique digital identifiers (DOI – Digital Objective Identifier) for the datasets it hosts. This service is linked to the national recherche.data.gouv.fr service and the thematic warehouse.

Our missions

To obtain the CTS certification, ESPRI’s teams have carried out over the past two years a major documentary project to describe all the center’s lifecycle data management practices.

 Look out for more information about our missions :

Data access and preservation:

The repository has an explicit mission to provide access to and preserve data in its domain


the repository maintains all applicable licenses covering data access and use and monitors compliance

Continuity of access:

The repository has a continuity plan to ensure ongoing access to and preservation of its holdings


The repository ensures, to the extent possible, that data are created, curated, accessed, and used in compliance with disciplinary and ethical norms

Organizational infrastructure:

The repository has adequate funding and sufficient numbers of qualified staff managed through a clear system of governance to effectively carry out the mission

Expert guidance:

The repository adopts mechanism(s) to secure ongoing expert guidance and feedback (either inhouse or external, including scientific guidance, if relevant)

Data Management

Data integrity and authenticity:

The repository guarantees the integrity and authenticity of the data


The repository accepts data and metadata based on defined criteria to ensure relevance and understandability for data users

Documented storage procedures:

The repository applies documented processes and procedures in managing archival storage of the data

Preservation plan:

The repository assumes responsibility for long-term preservation and manages this function in a planned and documented way

Data quality

The repository has appropriate expertise to address technical data and metadata quality and ensures that sufficient information is available for end users to make quality-related evaluations


Archiving takes place according to defined workflows from ingest to dissemination

Data discovery and identification:

The repository enables users to discover the data and refer to them in a persistent way through proper citation

Data reuse:

The repository enables reuse of the data over time, ensuring that appropriate metadata are available to support the understanding and use of the data


Technical infrastructure:

The repository functions on well-supported operating systems and other core infrastructural software and is using hardware and software technologies appropriate to the services it provides to its Designated Community


The technical infrastructure of the repository provides for protection of the facility and its data, products, services, and users