Madrid, 9 December 2009. Ferrovial, the Castilla-La Mancha Regional Government and the University of Alcalá have signed a Cooperation Agreement to establish a Smart Infrastructure Innovation Centre. The agreement was signed in Guadalajara (Spain) by José María Barreda, President of Castilla-La Mancha, Virgilio Zapatero, Chancellor of the University of Alcalá de Henares, and Íñigo Meirás, CEO of Ferrovial.
The Agreement provides for the creation of an entity whose goal is to promote, equip and manage the Innovation Centre. The Centre will research, innovate and develop technologies applied to mobility, transportation, energy efficiency and environmental sustainability. It will focus on highways, airports and cities, through the development of smart, eco-efficient projects of value to society. The Centre may be built at the Guadalajara Science and Technology Park. The Agreement envisages a budget of 20 million euro for the period 2009-2012. It will receive public funds from the Ministry of Science and Innovation and from the Castilla-La Mancha government, and private funding, principally from Ferrovial.
Ferrovial and partners will contribute 50% of the funding, the Castilla-La Mancha Regional Government will contribute 43.5%, and the University of Alcalá the other 6.5%. Speaking at the signing, Íñigo Meirás, CEO of Ferrovial, said that “innovation is one of Ferrovial’s distinguishing features, on the basis of which we build, create and manage infrastructure and provide services to large communities. Our focus on smart infrastructure represents an effort to integrate development that is sustainable from an economic, social and environmental standpoint”.
Ferrovial’s CEO mentioned some of the company’s innovative projects, such as the free-flow tolling system on 407 ETR in Toronto and the smart winter road maintenance system, which guarantees traffic flow and the passage of persons and goods on major roads in adverse weather conditions. Innovation makes infrastructure smart, and that improves our living standards”, said Meirás.
Leader in research
The Agreement signed today is the first step towards the creation of the Innovation Centre. The goal is that the Centre becomes a benchmark, both in Spain and internationally, in the development of products and services based on the idea of smart infrastructure: i.e. any infrastructure that seeks to improve its user’s living standards through technology and services in a way that is sustainable economically, socially and environmentally. A tripartite Commission will now draw up a proposal for the Centre’s legal form and modus operandi, and a financial and viability plan. The new Centre will also underpin Ferrovial’s innovation strategy. The Company is currently involved in a number of research, development and innovation projects with a total budget of 50 million euro.