Digitalisation, the protagonist of the second sector forum of the year organised by Mafex

THE SPANISH RAILWAY INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION HAS HELD AT THE HEADQUARTERS OF THE SPANISH CONFEDERATION OF BUSINESS ORGANISATIONS (CEOE) THE SECOND OF THE SECTOR FORUMS OF 2022, WHICH AIM TO SERVE AS KEY MECHANISMS FOR SECTOR REVITALISATION AND WHICH ARE EMERGING AS A MEETING PLACE BETWEEN THE ORGANISATIONS THAT MAKE UP THE VALUE CHAIN OF THE RAILWAY SECTOR. THIS TIME IT HAS BEEN FOCUSED ON DIGITALISATION.

 In the morning of 24th February, the General Director of Mafex, the Spanish Railway Industry Association, Pedro Fortea, opened the second of the Forums that the Association will be launching this year. The event took place at the headquarters of the Spanish Confederation of Business Organisations (CEOE). On this occasion, the Forum focused on digitalisation. Fortea pointed out that “digitalisation is an obvious challenge for the sector and for the railway industry, as well as a great opportunity to position the railway as the backbone and central axis of mobility”. The day was structured in three blocks. In the first of them, Manel Villalante, General Director of Development and Strategy of Renfe, exposed the “Challenges and projects of digitalisation in the railway operation,” where he stressed that “digitalisation goes beyond software and hardware. It encompasses relationships and the way of understanding transformation in a company.” Next, Oihana Otaegui, Director of the Smart Transport Systems Department, of the Vicomtech Technology Centre, showed the trends and opportunities in artificial intelligence for railway systems. To conclude, Adrián Balfagón, SILO Company Public Sector Director, presented the key aspects and current status of the Next Generation Funds as an engine of the digitalisation of the Spanish industry.

The next block of the day consisted of a round table entitled “Digital and connected train”. It benefitted from the participation of Jaime Borrell, Business Development Director of Alstom, Javier de la Cruz, CAF Digital Services Managing Director and José Antonio Marcos, Responsible for Smart Maintenance Engineering Systems and new Talgo projects, which shared how they have addressed the digitalisation of rolling stock; what challenges they have faced, how they have been able to solve them and the opportunities that open up to the entire value chain in terms of future trends.

To end the session, Marta Miralpeix, – Business Development Manager of Smart Motors – and Iñigo Esteban – Spain Area Manager of Lander Simulation & Training Solutions – were able to offer a summary of the vision and business model of the aforementioned companies in the framework of digitalisation.

This interest and commitment of the railway industry has been reflected in the participation of more than 40 representatives of companies of the sector, in addition to the presence of entities such as the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism, the Centre for the Development of Industrial Technology (CDTI) and the Spanish Confederation of Business Organisations (CEOE).