Transportation technology company Virgin Hyperloop One has signed an agreement with Spanish infrastructure agency Administration of Railway Infrastructure (Adif) to open a new research and testing facility in the country.

The Advanced Technology Development and Testing Center will be developed in the Andalusian region through an investment of around $500m.

The company is also expected to receive €126m ($146m) in a combination of loans and grants to advance the development of the centre.

Virgin Hyperloop One CEO Rob Lloyd said: “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.

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

The 19,000m² centre will be located at Bobadilla, a village of the municipality of Antequera in the province of Malaga.

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Expected to open in 2020, the centre will be engaged in the development, testing and certification of hyperloop system components and subsystems to enhance safety and reliability.

Virgin Hyperloop One has planned to hire around 200-300 high-tech professionals for the centre, which is also expected to facilitate job creation in the region by developing an ecosystem of partners and suppliers in the region.

Virgin Hyperloop One co-founder and chief technology officer Josh Giegel said: “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.”