Ferrovial and Adif sign a cooperation agreement for R and innovation

Published on 21/10/2011 Construction, Innovation

Ferrovial, through its construction subsidiary Agroman, and Adif, Spain’s rail network company, are joining their technical and technological capacities to research new materials for slab track, track bed auscultation and noise and vibration reduction systems in railway infrastructure. This agreement reaffirms Adif’s commitment to pursue innovation with public and private sector bodies.

Antonio González Marín, Chairman of Adif, and Alejandro de la Joya Ruiz de Velasco, CEO of Ferrovial Agroman, have signed a framework agreement to work together on activities relating to research, technological development and innovation at Adif’s Rail Technology Centre (CTF) in Málaga.

The goal of this agreement is to undertake joint projects to research new materials for building slab track, track bed sensors, and reducing noise and vibrations in railway infrastructure.

To this end, Adif is providing Ferrovial Agroman workspace in the CTF and at the testing and experimentation facilities in Antequera. This project will benefit all of Andalusia and attract new companies to the region, laying foundations for economic, social and industrial development.

This new infrastructure will mobilize investment of more than 400 million euro and make Spain a global leader in railway technology, strengthening the international competitiveness of an industry that a pillar of Spain’s economy. Adif recently invested 7.8 million euro in the laboratory and workshop at the Bobadilla Testing and Experimentation Loop Line facility.

Research lines

The agreement runs until 31 December 2012, renewable automatically for two years, and covers the creation of a working group to develop R&D and innovation projects.

Research will focus on:

  • Development and use of new technologies and materials for the construction of slab track for regular and high-speed trains.
  • Continuous track monitoring and use of sensors on bed and tracks.
  • Systems to reduce noise and vibrations in railway infrastructure.

The two entities will also work together creating public-private partnerships to apply for R&D and innovation grants in Spain and the EU, submitting joint bids for international tenders, and on other activities of mutual interest.

Rail Technology Centre in Málaga

Adif, which has been committed to innovation and technological development since inception, has 48 R&D and innovation projects under way and 6 which recently received approval under the INNPACTO 2011 program. The projects, which involve partnerships with 100 Spanish companies, 24 technology centers and 26 universities, represent a total investment of 118 million euro.

The creation of the CTF enables Adif to place Spain’s railway system at the technological forefront in Europe and the rest of the world.

The purpose of the Centre is to promote innovation and cooperation with business, focusing on railway technology development via R&D. Leading technology companies currently involved include Ferrovial Agroman, Abengoa, Acciona, Azvi, Cetren, CIAC, Elecnor Deimos, Huawei, Ineco, Indra, Sando, and SICE; other organizations are expected to join going forward.

In an initial phase, the CTF has two specialized laboratories belonging to Adif: the GSM-R lab, for RBC communications technology and developing data engineering for ERTMS; and the ICT laboratory, which focuses on smart transport systems and the Da Vinci railway traffic management system.

In this way, Adif is fulfilling one of its strategic objectives, namely to increase cooperation with public and private bodies in technological research and development in its core business areas, plus RDI projects undertaken by Spanish and EU public administrations through the R&D Framework Programme.

Ferrovial

Founded in 1952, Ferrovial is one of the world’s leading private infrastructure groups, operating through its toll roads, construction, services and airports divisions. Ferrovial owns stakes in some of the world’s leading privately-owned infrastructure assets, such as 407 Express Toll Route in Toronto, London’s Heathrow Airport, Chicago Skyway and Ausol toll road in Spain. Ferrovial is part of Spain’s blue-chip IBEX-35 index and also of the prestigious DJSI and FTSE4Good sustainability indices.

Ferrovial Agroman focuses on innovation and development, and on applying new technologies to all areas of infrastructure design, construction and maintenance; railway construction is one of its core business areas.

With over 80 years’ experience in railway building, Ferrovial Agroman applies advanced technology in its projects. Notable recent projects include the new rail access to Madrid Barajas Airport Terminal 4, and the track-laying system implemented on the Cuenca-Gabaldón section of the Madrid-Valencia high-speed line, which was inaugurated in 2010.