The Railway Innovation Hub: a new Open Innovation initiative with no precedents!

An interesting new global initiative has emerged to promote innovation and entrepreneurship across the railway sector and industries alike worldwide, with its neural operation center based in the Andalucía Technology Park (Malaga, Spain). The newborn “Railway Innovation Hub”, is the result of jointed efforts across some of the key leading corporations in Spain representing the whole value chain of the railway industry, and aims to promote collaborative R&D, technology transfer and acceleration, as well as becoming an contact point for industry solutions.

This initiative dates back to 2017. Following several years of recurring collaboration on R&D projects among key players in the railway and construction sector, a group of 10 visionary companies decided to design a joint initiative to empower the sector, and founded The Railway Innovation Hub. The founding members, namely Ferrovial, Abengoa, MRI, Telice, Siemens, Vias, Deimos, Comsa, Thales and Azvi, have built a collaborative framework capable of trespassing individual interest for the achievement of a better joint goal, which may be writing a new chapter in the Spanish innovation logbook.

The Hub has now over 50 members, and is building key institutional relationships to promote public-private collaboration, having recently signed agreements with both the Spanish and Andalusian governments, to enable the definition of specific technological and scientific challenges, so that member companies can build innovative solutions to improve Spanish railway technology. The governance model has been designed to enable a democratic but efficient decision-making process, which will be a challenge in such large partnership structure.

I am truly happy to see this kind of initiatives emerging in Spain. Let´s observe over the evolution of this new venture!

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