Adif, which has always been committed to innovation and technological development, has 57 R+D+i projects under way, in collaboration with various bodies, representing a global investment of 107 million Euros, as well as its collaborations with more than 125 Spanish companies, 22 technology centres and 24 universities.
R+D+i-related activity in Adif is managed by the Network Management and Innovation Department, with the goal of promoting knowledge and technological development in the scientific-technical community, and the Spanish economy, by nurturing innovation and research in the railway sector.
The main goals of Adif’s R+D+i activities include:
- Modernisation and management of assets
- Reinforcement of Spain’s position of leadership in world railway technology
- Increased efficiency and productivity in technological processes
- Implementation and transfer of newly developed technology, coordinating its putting into service
- Protection of research results through incorporation into Adif’s portfolio of intangible assets
- Financing for R&D&i through involvement in national and European public procurement competitions
- Dialogue with institutions and companies to promote research projects
- The benefits of investments in R+D+i
- Generation of revenue through intangible assets
- Benefits obtained from technology transfer agreements
- Management, auditing and certification of Adif’s R+D+i management system
- Technology Watch and dissemination of Adif’s R+D+i activity
- Documentation and standards management
Malaga Rail Technology Centre, a world leader in technology innovation
Adif’s efforts in the area of R+D+i have culminated in the creation of the Rail Technology Centre (CTF), together with associated facilities for testing and experimentation at the future Bobadilla Rail Loop Line in Malaga.
The CTF, located in the Andalusia Technology Park in Malaga, is the focal point of Adif’s innovation effort and activity. This modern centre directs, plans and implements strategies and actions in the area of Adif’s research, development and innovation.
Adif has created the CTF with the intention of positioning the Spanish railway system at the forefront of European and world technology. This technology centre, and the complementary Rail Loop Line to be constructed for testing, will be at the forefront of world high-speed research, development and innovation.
In its first phase, the CTF will have two specialised Adif laboratories: the GSM-R laboratory, for RBC-Train communications technology and the development of data engineering for ERTMS; and the ICT laboratory, dedicated to intelligent transport systems and the evolution of the Da Vinci advanced railway traffic management system.
It also has specialised training, technology watch, R+D+i project management and technology transfer departments to develop Adif’s own national and international projects, in cooperation or under contract from third parties. In addition, it has technical areas, classrooms, a demo room and laboratories:
Adif’s testing and experimentation facilities
The Bobadilla Testing and Experimentation Loop Line (Antequera) will attract investment of €400 million from European technological funds and private investment. The initiative is promoted by the Ministry of Public Works and the Ministry of Science and Innovation.
The Rail Loop Line will permit all kinds of research, experiments, certifications and tests to be carried out. It is designed to handle speeds of up to 520 km/h, compared with 270 km/h in similar facilities in other countries. Once in service, it will be the biggest centre of its kind in the world.
Adif carries out R+D+i activities in the following centres and laboratory trains:
- The Applied Magnetics Institute in Las Rozas (Madrid)
- The Energy Laboratory in Cerro Negro (Madrid)
- The Laboratory in Villaverde (Madrid)
- The CEDEX facilities (Madrid)
- The Rail Line Technology Centre (Valladolid)
- The High-Speed Line Test Centre (Brihuega, Guadalajara)
- The “Séneca” laboratory train
- Two variable-gauge BT diesel trains
Adif’s R+D+i projects follow three strategic lines:
- OPERATIONS: Optimisation and improvement of train traffic and infrastructure maintenance
- SUSTAINABILITY: Energy efficiency, the environment and new infrastructure construction techniques (mainly track beds)
- FREIGHT: Increase in freight traffic on the network managed by Adif
Adif’s technology products include the Da Vinci system, developed by Indra and the intellectual property of Adif, which has become the world’s leading platform for railway traffic management. Da Vinci manages the Spanish high-speed network, as well as other kinds of networks such as the metros in the cities of Medellín and London (Metronet). It is also the solution chosen by Morocco and Lithuania to manage their respective rail networks.
Adif has also played an important role in the field of railway interoperability, with development of the European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) on Spanish high-speed lines. At present, Spain’s 1,491 km make it a world leader in ERTMS implementation, placing it at the forefront of technology in this field.