A total of four startups start a period of boosting their projects with innovative mobility solutions. Renfe, the Mataró City Council and the TecnoCampus collaborate in the promotion of open innovation, the creation of new models of mobility and local employment.

The general director of Strategy and Development of Renfe, Manel Villalante, accompanied by the mayor of Mataró, David Bote, and the general director of the TecnoCampus Foundation, Lluís Checa, visited this morning the Antena TrenLab facilities, where this week begins a complete six-month acceleration program of innovative projects at the service of mobility.

Villalante, Bote and Checa have toured the facilities of the Antena TrenLab space that are already prepared to host the various startups that, last November, were winners of the first Antena TrenLab awards. This space constitutes Renfe's first antenna or meeting point for open innovation and entrepreneurship, with an important social and educational character for the transmission of all the knowledge and values ​​generated.

With this first antenna, Renfe, in collaboration with different local and regional entities, has started the creation of a national network of TrenLab Antennas. In this context, entrepreneurs will have experts and specialized mentors who will accompany them in the growth of their solution, not only for the railway sector, but with impact in the field of mobility and, in this case, in the Maresme region.

This initiative responds to Renfe's desire to continue betting on the creation of new knowledge, with the aim of promoting the creation of innovative solutions that contribute to the digital transformation of the railway company. This purpose is shared by the other two entities that are part of the first TrenLab antenna, the Mataró City Council and the TecnoCampus, to which is added the creation of local employment and the involvement of the citizens of the region in the creation of new models of mobility and values ​​aimed at environmental improvements associated with transporte.

With the start of the startup acceleration program, also from today and throughout 2023, a set of activities will be developed to involve local and regional entities in the project, which will allow greater permeability of the advances to be achieved in the field of mobility and transporte, incorporating more actors in the innovation ecosystem.

With an allocation of 150.000 euros per edition, the call aims to promote innovative solutions that solve the challenges of the railway sector. Each year, four entrepreneurial projects are chosen to enter a six-month acceleration program that includes the possibility of testing the solution in the territory of Mataró and the Maresme. This initiative stems from Renfe's experience with the start-up accelerator TrenLab where during the four calls, a total of 15 startups were accelerated, of which 4 were Catalan, a figure that represents that 26% of the impulse is born and activated in Catalonia.

Selected challenges and startups:

  • Challenge Smarts Railway Station, designed to promote technological solutions at stations that allow Renfe Rodalies customers to be offered more valuable information about the surroundings of their journeys. Selected project: CACTUS. The project proposes a network of IoT devices and a sustainable technological platform with the ability to provide real-time information of interest to passengers such as environmental characteristics (CO2, temperature, humidity, PMs to determine air quality, VOC... ), occupancy of trains and their real-time position that provide valuable information to both the service operator and users.
  • Customer Happiness Challenge, aimed at the search for startups that help to improve constant interaction with the customer and allow improvements to be implemented in the service and in the daily operations of Renfe Rodalies. Selected project: WIPASS. Wipass proposes to unify digitization and accompany the user from the beginning to the end of their journey, offering a unique and connected experience with Renfe. And, at the same time, Renfe will be able to obtain relevant information about the experience, interaction and satisfaction of passengers, once the service ends, as well as offer valuable information about the environment of their journeys, such as outstanding offers according to their destination, tourist information around and even offer other services. In addition, during the journey, the user will be able to receive information of interest such as deficiencies, data on the destination or arrival time through push notifications without the need to download an application.
  • Challenge 3Drail Solutions to explore how to introduce 3D printing technology for adoption in the rail sector as a competitive and sustainable alternative to traditional manufacturing methods. Selected project: DRUKATT. It is an integration project of all the necessary actors so that the adoption of technology is the most adjusted to the needs of the company, its services and the territory, and in the shortest possible time, it has presented a innovative project in the manufacture of industrial spare parts through design and additive manufacturing in the shortest possible time. It wants to integrate all the necessary actors through training and workshops that allow generating a learning process in relation to 3D printing.
  • Challenge Keep it open!, for disruptive startups that develop solutions not yet widely implemented in the rail sector based on new technologies (metaverse, virtual reality, robotics, etc.) or trends (quantum computing, drones, etc.). Challenge selected: HYPERVISOUL. It proposes a traffic management system for connected vehicles to operate fleets of automated light rail vehicles on rural railway lines in order to operate on-demand transporte services for passengers and goods.
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