Innovating is an attitude, a vital characteristic of organizations that want to be at the forefront of the sector and maintain a solid position in the market.
Technological innovation is a substantial component of the railway, and infrastructures are platforms in which the most advanced technologies from a large number of different technical and scientific areas are integrated. Infrastructure can thus offer the best conditions for transport operators and end users in a liberalized and competitive environment.
Adif wants to lead the technological innovation of infrastructures so that the railroad is the transport of the future that we are building in the present.
The Railway Technology Center was created with the mission of concentrating the efforts of Adif and the agents of the innovative ecosystem in designing that future with key technologies and projects with high innovative impact.It is a space for open and collaborative railway innovation, where Adif's effort joins that of other entities that know the importance of working together for a better tomorrow.
The Railway Technology Centre (CTF, as per its acronym in Spanish) is an innovation hub where Adif provides companies with facilities and resources to develop state-of-the-art, high-impact projects. It is a collaborative and open environment where companies can build work teams in a safe environment for innovation.
So far, 21 companies have decided to support Adif's initiative.Furthermore,the largest railway technology cluster in Spain – the Railway Innovation Hub – with more than 90 companies and startups, is located in the Railway Technology Centre.
Among the resources managed by the CTF are specialized laboratories, which allow to experiment and develop new systems, and to further improve current labs:
- Station laboratory (CTF, Málaga)
- Catenary components bench testing (CTF, Málaga)
- Salvador Velayos Applied Magnetics Institute (Las Rozas, Madrid)
- High-speed testing laboratory (HSL Madrid-Barcelona, km 69 + 500)
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 Science, Innovation and Universities, included in the 2008-2011 National Scientific Research, Development and Technological Innovation Plan, in accordance with the following calls for tenders:
- Programme for action on scientific and technological infrastructures in science and technology parks (ACTEPARQ) 2009. Project:Adapting equipment in the Adif Railway Technology Centre (PCT-460000-2009-17) for the value of €5.565,106.
- Subprogramme 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) for the value of €2,780,000.
- Subprogramme 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), for 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.