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TrenLab Program Returns: Renfe Calls for Groundbreaking Mobility Solutions

TrenLab Program Returns: Renfe Calls for Groundbreaking Mobility Solutions
photo: Renfe/TrenLab Program Returns: Renfe Calls for Groundbreaking Mobility Solutions
29 / 03 / 2023

Renfe launches a new call of the TrenLab program, the company's startup accelerator, in search of the most promising projects in the mobility sector to boost technological innovation in rail transport. After attracting more than 900 startups in its four previous calls, this edition again offers the opportunity to get a contract of up to one million euros if the winning project is developed positively with Renfe.

This edition, open until May 4, 2023, is developed through a tender based on a Project Competition model, one for each proposed scope of work. TrenLab poses six new challenges that take into account factors such as the virtual world, environmental commitment or the incorporation of new technologies of Industry 5.0, among others. Specifically, the challenges posed by the accelerator in this edition are as follows:

  • Metaverse in mobility: the creation of virtual environments that simulate railway stations and trains, development of collaboration tools and real-time communication between users and operators and solutions based on the metaverse to improve the traveller's experience.
  • Digitalization of safety systems: development of new algorithms for data collection, creation of a predictive maintenance management platform for safety systems for data collection, optimization and maintenance, and automatic detection of relevant events published on social networks that affect safety aspects.
  • Green transportation: solutions that encourage the daily use of public transportation, help purify and clean the air in subway stations, awareness projects that involve the customer in reducing the carbon footprint during travel, and development of cleaner and more energy-efficient propulsion technologies.
  • Virtual reality training: development of virtual reality tools based on real environments to train driving personnel in safety solutions and skills.
  • Industry 5.0: innovative technological projects in railway manufacturing and maintenance aimed at digitalization and incorporation of new Industry 5.0 technologies (IoT, Big Data, asset management, process digitalization, augmented reality, additive manufacturing, artificial vision, etc.).
  • Fleet optimization: technological solutions that enable the optimization of the rolling stock fleet to improve efficiency and the planning of transport networks and services, offering a better service to passengers.

The winning startups will have access to up to 50,000 euros to develop a pilot of their project, having access to the main investors, professionals, experts and technicians of the entrepreneurial ecosystem. They will have specialized business mentoring from Renfe to advance the pilot, with advice from disciplines in legal, sales, tech, communication and much more. Additionally, they will have specialized training, workshops and masterclasses, and will be able to participate in key events of the entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystem together with TrenLab. All this, within the framework of a six-month personalized acceleration program in an innovation hub: Espacio TrenLab, Renfe's entrepreneurial ecosystem coworking located at C/ Méndez Álvaro, 9.

After registering a high rate of participation in its four previous calls and reaping great results, the TrenLab program has 17 accelerated startups among which are Limmat Group, Greemko, Visually or AllRead, among others. In parallel, the TrenLab project has promoted the investment in the startup Imotion Analytics, whose technological base is Artificial Intelligence, acquiring 10% to reinforce its commitment to open innovation.

The call will remain open until May 4, 2023, and is aimed at startups and companies both nationally and internationally, for acceleration and possible subsequent hiring.

Innovation and cultural transformation for the Renfe Group

TrenLab, Renfe's accelerator, seeks to drive the company's digital transformation and reinforce its commitment to open innovation, transforming the passenger experience in the railway sector. Digitalization is at the centre of the objectives it addresses to explore areas such as Mobility as a Service (MaaS), Metaverse, Blockchain, artificial intelligence solutions or Big Data.

Expanding its commitment to innovation, Renfe has launched Antena TrenLab, an initiative in which the accelerator seeks to create a network of antennas specialized in solutions and technology applied to the sector throughout the national territory. This project arises in response to new models and solutions within the framework of Renfe's business challenges that contribute to the benefit of customers, employees and the railway sector.