Our Commitments


The “Séneca” laboratory train

From the outset, Adif has always pursued innovation and technological development, which are seen as the ideal way of promoting knowledge and technological development in the scientific-technical community, and also of boosting the growth of the Spanish economy, by nurturing innovation and research in the railway sector.

The reference framework chosen by Adif to direct its R&D&I activity is based on the document entitled "R+D+i strategy 2014 - 2016", and on the guidelines defined in the regulations and recommendations published by Spanish and European institutions:

  • Spanish Strategy for Sustainable Mobility (EEMS); Infrastructure, Transport and Housing Plan (PITVI); Spanish Science, Technology & Innovation Strategy; and National Plan for Scientific and Technical Research and Innovation of the Spanish Government
  • EU Horizon 2020 Programme and 2011 White Paper on Transport
  • Rail Route 2050 by the ERRAC (European Rail Research Advisory Council)
Research laboratory

Graph of the evolution of the projects

The graph shows the total evolution of finalised and active R+D+i projects as of 1 January 2015.

Graph of project evolution
  • Note 1: The figures correspond to of 1 January 2015

Graph of project transfers

The graph shows the total distribution of finalised and active R+D+i projects transferred as of 1 January 2015.

Graph of project transfers

Distribution graph by organising body

Distribution of number of R+D+i projects according to organising body as of 1 april 2015.

Distribution graph
  • Legend: MITC (Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Commerce); MINECO (Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness); MFOM (Ministry of Public Works); CDTI (Centre for Technological and Industrial Development); IDEA (Andalusian Innovation Agency); EU (European Union)


Overhead line laboratory

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 roll-out
  • 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 leader in technology innovation

Adif's work in the sphere of R+D+i has culminated in the creation of the Rail Technology Centre (CTF) 

 The CTF, located in the Andalusia Technology Park in Malaga, is the focal point of Adif’s innovation effort and activity. This centre directs, plans and implements actions in the area of research, development and innovation for Adif.

With the creation of the CTF, Adif aims to place the Spanish railway system at the cutting edge of research, development and innovation into railway technology.

The Rail Technology Centre building in Malaga

The CTF has laboratories specialising in cutting-edge technologies, where it is possible to experiment with and develop new systems and explore the improvement of current ones:

ERTMS Laboratory
  • Information and Communication Technology Laboratory (LABTIC)
  • GSM-R / ERTMS Laboratory
  • Station Laboratory
  • Laboratory for Tests with Overhead Line Elements
  • Electromagnetic Compatibility Laboratory


Adif's R+D+i projects are developed in different lines according to their nature and objectives.

Evolution of R+D+i projects (Finalised and active)

Highlights of Adif 's technology products include particularly the following: Aerotraviesa, Fallen objects detector, APLICA, Crosswind safety, Ferrolinera®, System of continuous auscultation and assessment of the railway track-bed using geo-radar (SAEC), Flexrail, Icecof and Reversible substation.

The number one development is 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. 

Another important highlight worth noting is Adif's role in the field of railway interoperability, with the development of the European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) on Spanish high-speed lines. Spain currently has over 1,900 kilometres installed and is world leader in the implementation of the ERTMS

    Information sheet

Related Links

More information on rail research, development and innovation

Ferrolinera Project