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MADRID: August 07, 2018. Virgin Hyperloop One is to open its first European development facility in the Andalusian region of Spain at a cost of US$500 million that includes €120 million of government grants and loans.

Isabel Pardo de Vera Posada (pictured), president of the Administration of Railway Infrastructures (ADIF) and Rob Lloyd, CEO of Virgin Hyperloop One, signed the agreement.

 Isabel Pardo de Vera PosadaThe 19,000 square meter centre, to be opened by 2020, would develop, test, and certify components and subsystems to improve safety and reliability of hyperloop systems said the company.

“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 CTO. "Ultimately, the centre will help us deliver upon our first projects and scale to meet future demand around the world.”

The new facility will be at Bobadilla, 65 kilometres north of Malaga that already supports a reported 9,000 transport and logistics companies, the second largest aerospace cluster in Spain and 20,000 employees in R&D.

“The location of the centre in our country will lead to important high-value commercial opportunities and will boost economic growth in the region”, said ADIF in a statement. “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.”

The company estimates it would hire 200-300 high-tech skilled professionals and that the centre would spur job creation in a broad ecosystem of partners and suppliers in the region.

“By investing in the development and testing of Virgin Hyperloop One, Spain is extending its long- tradition as an innovative, global transport leader, “ said Lloyd. “We are excited to partner with such a forward-thinking country in developing the next generation of transportation.”

Virgin Hyperloop One investors include Virgin Group, DP World, Caspian VC Partners, Sherpa Capital, Abu Dhabi Capital Group, SNCF, GE Ventures, Formation 8, 137 Ventures and WTI.

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