Our Commitments

R&D&I

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 (PTIVI); Spanish Science, Technology & Innovation Strategy; and National Plan for Scientific and Technical Research and Innovation of the Spanish Government
  • Horizon 2020 Programme and European Commission 2011 White Paper on Transport
  • ERRAC (European Rail Research Advisory Council) 2050 Roadmap for Railways
Research laboratory

Project portfolio status October 2016

Graph of (accumulated) Distribution of the impact made by the results of R&D&I Projects (Finalised and transferred/in the transfer to production phase and Active with the expectation of being transferred) for the different purposes under consideration
  • (Accumulated) Distribution of the impact made by the results of R&D&I Projects (Finalised and transferred/in the transfer to production phase and Assets expected to be transferred) for the different purposes under consideration
Graph of (accumulated) Distribution of the number of R+D+I Projects developed by organising body
  • (Accumulated) Distribution of the number of R+D+I Projects developed by organising body
Graph of Progress and trends in the R+D+I Projects (Finalised and Active)
  • Progress and trends in the R+D+I Projects (Finalised and Active)
Graph of the Growth and trend of the business pull effect (BPE) and the scientific pull effect (SPE)
  • Growth and trend of the business pull effect (BPE) and the scientific pull effect (SPE)

Goals

Overhead power line laboratory

The main goals of Adif’s R&D&I activities include the following, among others:

  • 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 by incorporating them into Adif’s portfolio of intangible assets
  • Financing R&D&I through involvement in national and European public calls for tenders
  • 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 Surveillance and broadcasting Adif's R&D&I activity
  • Documentation and regulations management

Malaga Railway Technology Centre, a benchmark in technological innovation

Adif's efforts in the realm of R+D+I have culminated in the creation of the Railway Technology Centre (RTC) 

 

The Railway Technology Centre building in Malaga

Finance

ERDF and Ministry of Science and Innovation logos

The financial resources for starting up the RTC came in part from the European Union, through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and in addition from the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness and co-financed by ERDF funds (European Regional Development Fund), included in the 2008-2011 National Scientific Research, Development and Technological Innovation Plan, in accordance with the following calls for tenders:

  • Subprogram for action on scientific and technological infrastructures in science and technology parks (ACTEPARQ) 2009. Project: Adaptation of equipment in the Adif Railway Technology Centre (PCT-460000-2009-17), to the value of €5,565,106.
  • Subprogram for action on scientific and technological infrastructures in science and technology parks (INNPLANTA) 2011. Project: Provision of equipment for the Comprehensive Railway Services Centre (CISF in Spanish), (INP-2011-0023-PCT-460000-ACT 16-1-4), to the value of €2,780,000.
  • Subprogram for action on scientific and technological infrastructures in science and technology parks (INNPLANTA) 2011. Project: Construction of the Comprehensive Railway Services Centre (CISF in Spanish), (INP-2011-0023-PCT-460000-ACT 13), to the value of €5,835,000.
  • Subprogram for action on scientific and technological infrastructures in science and technology parks (INNPLANTA) 2011. Project: Provision of equipment for the expansion of the RTC (INP-2011-0023-PCT-460000-ACT 10-1-4), to the value of €309,773.

During the assignment process, the Andalusia Technology Park (PTA in Spanish) where the RTC is located, acted as a collaborating agent, appointed by the institutes which provided the funds.

In addition, the following projects are also financed with ERDF funds from the European Union and the Ministry of Science and Innovation:

  • DINPAC3D Pantograph/overhead power line dynamic interaction: development of algorithms and implementation of an IT tool for calculating in 3D and the rigid overhead line.
    File No.: IPT-370000-2010-002. Financial assistance for this project, corresponding to the INNPACTO subprogram 2010 call for tenders, is governed by Ministerial Orders CIN/1559/2009, CIN/1149/2010, CIN/1337/2010 and CIN/2225/2010 and amounts to a subsidy of €273,498.90 (for the period 2010-13) The project is financed by Spain's Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness and co financed by the ERDF (European Regional Development Fund).
  • EBR Development of digital phone calls for railway traffic safety processes.
    File No.: IPT-2011-1059-370000. Financial assistance for this project, corresponding to the INNPACTO subprogram 2011 call for tenders, is governed by Ministerial Orders CIN/1559/2009 and CIN/699/2011 and amounts to a subsidy of €205,346.40 (for the period 2011-13) The project is financed by Spain's Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness and co financed by the ERDF (European Regional Development Fund).
  • TECRAIL New high performance ballast with recycled gravel and surface treatment with residue recovery.
    File No.: IPT-2012-1333-370000. Financial assistance for this project, corresponding to the INNPACTO subprogram 2011 call for tenders, is governed by Ministerial Order CIN /699/2011 and amounts to a subsidy of €838,121.52 (for the period 2011-14) The project is financed by Spain's Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness and co financed by the ERDF (European Regional Development Fund).
  • NEOBALAST New high performance ballast with recycled gravel and surface treatment with residue recovery.
    File No.: IPT-2012-1333-370000. Financial assistance for this project, corresponding to the INNPACTO subprogram 2012 call for tenders, is governed by Ministerial Orders CIN/1559/2009 and CIN/1345/2012 and amounts to a subsidy of €162,648.48. The project is financed by Spain's Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness and co financed by the ERDF (European Regional Development Fund).
  • HD BALAST Development of a heavy ballast, based on the design of concrete with high density residue recovery, in order to eliminate the problem of ballast being blown away from high-speed lines.
    File No.: IPT-2012-0242-370000. Financial assistance for this project, corresponding to the INNPACTO subprogram 2012 call for tenders, is governed by Ministerial Orders CIN/1559/2009, CIN/1149/2010, CIN/952/2011 and ECC Order/1345/2012 and amounts to a subsidy of €227,224.87 (for the period 2013-15) The project is financed by Spain's Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness and co financed by the ERDF (European Regional Development Fund).
  • OVER RAIL Development and application of a new material for regulating friction on the over rail, in order to reduce noise associated with wheel-railway line contact.
    File No.: IPT-2012-0781-420000. Financial assistance for this project, corresponding to the INNPACTO subprogram 2012 call for tenders, is governed by Ministerial Orders CIN/1559/2009, CIN/1149/2010, CIN/952/2011 and ECC Order/1345/2012 and amounts to a subsidy of €269,066.67. The project is financed by Spain's Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness and co financed by the ERDF (European Regional Development Fund).
  • DINATRANS Dynamic Transitions for high-speed and goods railway lines.
    File No.: IPT-2012-0774-370000. Financial assistance for this project, corresponding to the INNPACTO subprogram 2012 call for tenders, is governed by Ministerial Orders CIN/1559/2009, CIN/1345/2012, and ECC Order/965/2014 and amounts to a subsidy of €323,952.70 (for the period 2013-15). The project is financed by Spain's Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness and co financed by the ERDF (European Regional Development Fund).
  • VIADINTEGRA Incorporation of railway viaduct monitoring into the infrastructure management and maintenance system.
    File No.: IPT-370000-2010-12. Financial assistance for this project, corresponding to the INNPACTO subprogram 2010 call for tenders, is governed by Ministerial Orders CIN/1559/2009, CIN/1149/2010 and CIN/1337/2010 and amounts to a subsidy of €2,162,046.90 (for the period 2010-13). The project is financed by Spain's Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness and co financed by the ERDF (European Regional Development Fund).
  • SIMIT Intelligent monitoring system for clearance slopes and the detection of obstacles on the line. Proactive maintenance of clearances.
    File No.: RTC-2014-2166-4. Financial assistance for this project, corresponding to the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness 2013 call for tenders, is governed by ECC Order/1780/2013 and amounts to a subsidy of €264,105.
  • TUNNEL CURIOSITY Development of an unmanned vehicle for the multiple inspection of railway tunnels.
    Identification No.: EXP-00082897 / ITC-20151158. Financial assistance for the project was granted by the Industrial Technological Development Centre (CDTI in Spanish) in accordance with the FEDER INNTERCONECTA programme 2015 call for tenders, regulated by ECC Order/1780/2013. The CDTI subsidy amounts to €95,046 for the period 2015-17.

Research, development and innovation in the RTC

The RTC is the focus for Adif's innovative efforts and activities This centre directs, plans and implements actions in matters concerning research, development and innovation in Adif.

Adif created the RTC with the aim of positioning the Spanish railway system at the forefront with regard to research, development and innovation in the field of railways. The RTC has laboratories specialising in state-of-the-art technologies where new systems can be experimented and developed as well as improvements to current systems:

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

Projects

R+D+I projects are developed by Adif along different lines according to their nature and objectives.

Progress of R+D+I projects (Finalised and active)

Special mention should be made of the following Adif technology products: Aerotraviesa, Fallen objects detector, APLICA, Crosswind safety, Ferrolinera®, System of continuous auscultation and assessment of the railway track-bed using ground-penetrating 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 benchmark 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

  • ERTMS
    Information sheet

Related Links

More information on rail research, development and innovation

Ferrolinera Project