06. Responsability for products and services


Given technology’s role at the service of society in the sectors in which Sacyr Vallehermoso operates, the Group considers sound R&D&i management to be essential to meeting the new demands of society and, consequently, to boosting our competitive position.

For this reason, technological research, development and innovation is today, as it will be in the future, one of the basic pillars of Sacyr Vallehermoso’s strategy, and another way to ensure the success of its companies.


The Innovation Department, through its R&D&i section, coordinates the research, development and innovation activities carried out at the various Group companies and serves as a driver of, and point of reference for, advances and ongoing improvements in this field.

Rounding off this structure, a large number of Group companies have their own R&D&i departments or at least an R&D&i manager responsible for implementing specific projects. These projects are always coordinated and supervised by the R&D&i Department and the Group’s Innovation Department.

Certification of the R&D&i management system

Sacyr Vallehermoso’s innovation management system is certified by AENOR in accordance with ISO 166002: 2006. This tool rationalises and systematises all R&D&i activities and enables us to:

• Foster R&D&i activities across all Group companies and define the primary objectives in this field

• Design common guidelines for organising and effectively managing R&D&i

• Improve technological monitoring based on an analysis of the internal and external situation.

• Identify and assess the threats and opportunities posed by technological trends

• Ensure that the activities of the different company departments likely to generate new technologies and patents are identified

• Select and manage an appropriate portfolio of strategic projects for the different Sacyr Vallehermoso Group companies

• Promote R&D&i as a means to gain a competitive edge and treat it as such in all corporate reputation schemes

• Promote cooperation with universities and public research institutions, eliminating the traditional separation between the public and private sectors in this sphere of corporate activity

• Involve SMEs in R&D&i activity, thereby contributing to the attainment of the government’s R&D&i investment targets for achieving convergence with Europe

In 2011, following the new ENAC guidelines, the following Group companies were certified individually by AENOR:

• Sacyr Vallehermoso
• Sacyr
• Cavosa
• Testa
• Vallehermoso
• Valoriza Servicios Medioambientales
• Valoriza Energía
• Valoriza Agua
• Valoriza Conservación de Infraestructuras
• Sadyt
• Cafestore
• Sacyr Concesiones


The SyV Group continued to expand its R&D&i activities in 2011, a year in which it achieved the following milestones:

Initiatives in 2011 to provide energy-efficient or renewable energy based products and services, and reductions in energy requirements as a result of these initiatives, included the following standouts:

• Design and development of models for calculating and dimensioning geothermal exchange systems and active glassing for buildings. Geoglass Energy. Energy efficiency is one of the main goals in the construction of buildings, for which new measures have been incorporated, such as solar panels, thermal insulation and air conditioning/heating systems in walls, ceilings and windows. The objective is to achieve a rational use of energy needed, significantly reducing consumption and obtaining part of this consumption from renewable energies. The aim of the project is to design, develop and experimentally validate theoretical and numerical tools that enable geothermal exchanger technology and the development and implementation of nonstationary and passive active glassing models to be incorporated more easily and with greater confidence in architectural projects. The result will be a tool which is able to size and prepare parametric studies of geothermal and active glassing systems. The project has been awarded a grant under the Innpacto programme (Ministry of Science and Innovation).

• Integration of ICTS solutions for the analysis and implementation of energy measures in buildings to improve their energy balances and reduce the carbon footprint. The change in the statutory framework applied in the European Union, and its transposition to Spanish law, is causing new requirements to be applied in the building sector and in matters relating to energy consumption. For companies, it is strategically vital to have the knowledge and tools that can allow them to assess project not only on the basis of traditional criteria based on minimising costs and execution times, but also from the standpoint of reducing the consumption of energy. It is therefore essential to research and develop tools that allow us to control the energy consumption of buildings. The goal of this project is to develop an IT application to calculate real energy savings, quickly and economically, by means of reading specific parameters in buildings. Ultimately, the goal is to minimise energy consumption and thus reduce the impact of CO2 emissions in buildings, bringing about a new approach to energy management. The project has been awarded a grant by the Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Trade (Avanza Plan).

• Research and development of energetically efficient lighting systems, adapted to advertising and information equipment located in out-oftown settings. The current solution for lighting advertising boards in Cafestore restaurants located on roads and motorways is the use of metallic halogen lamps with a high energy cost. This is a high cost energy solution, where the flow cannot be regulated, and with a useful life limited to 10,000h. The objective is to develop an innovative alternative for these systems, making use of more advanced high flow LED solutions and a completely innovative scheme and mesh model, with intelligent lighting control to allow consumption to be reduced, adapting the light intensity emitted by the LED equipment to the environmental conditions in place (day or night, mist, etc), to achieve an apparently even light intensity, while minimising consumption. The project has been awarded a grant by the Autonomous Government of Castille la Mancha (HITO Call).

Initiatives in 2011 to mitigate the environmental impact of products and services, and the extent of this mitigation, were as follows:

Innovative ICT tools for studying, evaluating and decision-taking on geological deposits of CO2. One of the impacts of fossil fuels on the environment is the increase in carbon dioxide levels (CO2) in the atmosphere. Atmospheric carbon dioxide tends to prevent long wave radiation from escaping to outside space, absorbing a considerable amount of energy and bringing about an increase in temperature, which is why the overall temperature of the Earth is increasing, through a process known as the greenhouse effect. The storage of CO2 requires very precise geological conditions, which are determined using the multi-criteria analysis of data and information deriving from different sources and formats. The general aim of the project is to apply ICTs to the storage of CO2, through an advanced IT application with web blocks which can enable the multi-criterion management of all parameters and information of interest in the assessment of geological environments which could be suitable for storing CO2. The project has been awarded a grant by the Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Trade (Avanza Plan).

• Research and development of a new material based on the total recycling of bituminous mixtures. In road surface rehabilitation operations, it is common for waste to be produced from milling and demolition for replacing the damaged layers. Although the unit volumes in ordinary maintenance operations are small, if we add the volumes generated in the field of concessions there is a substantial amount of waste. This material, which has a high cost and exceptional properties, should ideally be reused in mixtures of the same type and function. However, Spanish technical regulations on the use of recycled mixtures are extremely restrictive, and this means that the amount of RAP which can be reused in the rehabilitation work during which it is produced is in most cases lower than the amount which is actually generated. The objective of this project is to research and develop technologies to enable the 100% recovery recycled bituminous mixtures, with high mechanical properties, appropriate for high capacity roads, obtained using low energy consumption and low generation of emissions in their manufacturing process, in other words improving the durability of the road surface and the management and operation of the resources. The project has been awarded a grant by the Ministry of Science and Innovation (CDTI).

• Development and recovery of biomass waste in the manufacturing of bituminous mixtures Waste recovery is a very topical and important subject. It is necessary to resolve the serious problems caused by current development processes. The Sacyr Vallerhemoso Group, and, specifically, its subsidiary Valoriza, has several biomass plants, most of which are in the autonomous region of Andalusia. Thus, based on the possible applications the waste produced in these plants could have on the manufacture of bituminous mixtures, research study is being developed to assess its viability for use in road surfaces. Therefore, the goal is to develop an effective system for making use of waste generated in the biomass industry (flying ash from biomass and biomass slag) in the field of road construction, and, more specifically, in the manufacturing of bituminous mixtures and develop an action plan to unlock the value of this project. The project has been awarded a grant by the Ministry of Science and Innovation (Innpacto Programme).

Noteworthy initiatives in 2011 to mitigate the impact of products and services on customers’ health and safety, and the degree of this mitigation, included:

• Design and development of a prototype training system for operating snowplough machines. Snowploughs are vital for the operational maintenance of the road network during the winter season. Given the conditions in which these snowploughs are often used, there is a high risk for both drivers and for users of the public roads in the vicinity. This is why it is essential to train drivers under realistic conditions in order to reduce this risk. A particularly serious problem is the lack of training of “new” snowplough drivers. As there is no specialised training for driving this type of machinery, the only recruitment requirement is that they should hold a “C” type driving licence (the licence officially required when driving any kind of lorry). The objective of the project is the development and implementation of a training system for operating snowploughs, capable of covering the sector’s needs and shortfalls. It would provide training for personnel operating snowploughs in adverse winter conditions. The project has been awarded a grant by the Ministry of Science and Innovation (CDTI).

Attesting to its commitment to continue making R&D&i one of its strategic focuses, Sacyr Vallehermoso had set the following targets for 2011 as regards information about the certification of the R & D management system to ISO 166002:2006:

• Patent at least six products or processes in 2010 and 2011respectively:

• No patents were applied for in 2011.

• The following patents were registered in 2010, all by Sacyr:

• Method for the construction of reinforced concrete caps providing high accuracy in the crown level and positioning of anchor bolts as a support for thermal solar plants and structures comprising caps.

• Topographic study and works inspection system

• Method and system for automatic ongoing verification in tunnel excavation/drilling works and method execution software

• The target has therefore not been met because only three patents were registered over the two years

• Execution of an R&D&i project using grants available from European funds:

In 2011, no applications were made under the 7th Framework Project by any of the Group companies. Therefore, the target has not been met.

• Gain access to a technology vigilance system:

This was finally covered using links to specialised technological websites. Since the the “Innovaresfacil. com” website embraces a very wide range of subject areas, it is unfeasible to equip it with a built-in technology vigilance system of its own.

• Create value based on R&D&i results:

Contact was initiated with Inelcom but no further developments have taken place since April. Therefore, no progress has been made. No other companies have expressed interest during this period. The target has not been achieved.

• Achieve at least one technology contract award from a public authority

In late 2011, the Ministry of Science and Innovation published a “Guide on innovating contracting of public awards”. This guide describes how the contracting of public awards must be carried out by the different Public Administration bodies. No tenders have yet been carried out through this system.

Given that no public tenders have been carried out using this procedure, no contracts have been won.

• Obtain R&D&i certification for Valoriza Facilities

It was not been possible to contact the authorised officers of Valoriza Facilities to inform them of this objective, so this target has not been achieved.

The following goals have been set for 2012:

• Patent at least 4 products or processes in 2012 and 2013 respectively

• Undertake an R&D&i project using grants available from European funds

• Create value based on a R&D&i initiative

• Achieve at least one technology contract award from a public authority

• Obtain R&D certification for Valoriza Facilities

• Obtain R&D certification for Iberese

• Submit data to Marketing Department to draft the 2011 R&D&i Report before 30/6/2012.


The Sacyr Vallehermoso Group is engaged in an ambitious expansion of its R&D&i activities. Since 2004, it has obtained external, official recognition, in the form of loans, grants and certifications, in a total of 123 projects via various public sector contract tender processes.


Despite the tough economic climate, R&D&i investment in 2011 exceeded 11 million of euros.

Public aid also reflects governmental support for Sacyr Vallehermoso’s R&D&i projects.