Spanish Government agrees to open first European hyperloop development facility
Posted: 9 August 2018 | Global Railway Review | No comments yet
With a collaboration with Virgin Hyperloop One, the new development facility will accelerate the progress and testing of hyperloop technology.
Virgin Hyperloop One has signed an agreement with Administrator of Railway Infrastructures (ADIF) to open an ‘Advanced Technology Development and Testing Center’ in the Andalusian region of Spain.
This will be the company’s first European development facility, valued at approximately $500 million.
In return for this investment, Virgin Hyperloop One will obtain €126 million in public aid through loans and grants to help establish the new centre, advance Virgin Hyperloop One’s technology development and testing and stimulate regional economic growth and job creation.
“With its robust transportation, aerospace and high-tech sectors in turn paired with outstanding regional talent, Spain is an ideal fit for Virgin Hyperloop One’s Advanced Technology Development and Testing Center,” said Rob Lloyd, Virgin Hyperloop One CEO. “By investing in the development and testing of Virgin Hyperloop One, Spain is extending its long-tradition as an innovative, global transport leader.”
The centre will be located in Bobadilla, a village of the municipality of Antequera, in the province of Malaga. With over 9,000 companies in transport and logistics and 20,000 employees in R&D, the new centre will be a catalyst for further economic growth. Virgin Hyperloop One estimates that 200–300 high-tech skilled professionals will be required; creating many jobs in the region.
“The location of the centre will lead to important high-value commercial opportunities and boost economic growth in the region,” said ADIF (Administrador de Infraestructuras Ferroviarias or Administration of Railway Infrastructure). “The agreement with Virgin Hyperloop One will help us face new technological challenges; reinforcing our leadership in the development of transport infrastructures in the international arena.”
The 19,000m2 centre, planned to be open by 2020, will develop, test and certify components and subsystems to continually improve safety and reliability of hyperloop systems.
“For hyperloop to be commercially viable it needs to be safe and reliable – safety is our number-one priority,” said Josh Giegel, co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer, Virgin Hyperloop One. “We’ve already been testing and improving our technology for the last four years, including building the only full-scale hyperloop system in the world. Ultimately, the centre will help us deliver upon our first projects and scale to meet future demand around the world.”
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