Virgin Hyperloop One and Spanish rail infrastructure manager, Adif, signed an agreement to open a research and testing center in the Andalusian region of Spain. Valuated at USD 500 million, this is company’s first European development facility. The 19,000 square meter center, planned to be opened by 2020, would develop, test, and certify components and subsystems to continually improve safety and reliability of hyperloop systems.
In return for this investment, Virgin Hyperloop One would obtain EUR 126 million in public aid through loans and grants to help establish the new center, to advance Virgin Hyperloop One’s technology development and testing, and to stimulate regional economic growth and job creation.
“The agreement with Virgin Hyperloop One will help us to deepen the willingness to face new technological challenges, contributing to reinforce our leadership in the development of transport infrastructures in the international arena,” Adif said.
The center will be located in the Andalusian region of Spain at Bobadilla, a village of the municipality of Antequera, in the province of Malaga, where Adif has its Centro de Tecnologías Ferroviarias (CTF), which has promoted the creation of the Railway Innovation Hub Spain (RIH), a private initiative formed by 60 companies.
The Andalusian region is known globally as an epicenter of transportation and aerospace innovation. With over 9,000 companies in transport and logistics, the second largest aerospace cluster in Spain, and 20,000 employees in R&D, the new center in Andalusia complements the advanced transport, aerospace, and high-tech innovation in the region and will be a catalyst for further economic growth.
Virgin Hyperloop One estimates that it would hire 200-300 high-tech skilled professionals and that the center would spur job creation in a broad ecosystem of partners and suppliers in the region.