Renfe set to open mobility startup accelerator in Catalonia

Renfe, the Spanish government-owned rail operator, will open its first Trenlab mobility startup accelerator outside of Madrid in the Catalan city of Mataró in September.

The initiative, which first began in 2018, promotes innovation in terms of digitization, accessibility, security, maintenance, sustainability, and customer experience among companies in the sector. It has generated €16 million and created 121 jobs in around a dozen of the 900 companies that have applied to take part in it.

According to Spanish transport minister Raquel Sánchez, the new Trenlab center will open a new chapter in Mataró’s history. The coastal municipality 30 kilometers north of Barcelona is already historically significant for the sector as Spain’s first railway line, which dates back to 1848, connected the Catalan capital and Mataró.

Authorities expect to be able to set up more mobility startup accelerators across Catalonia once Mataró’s is up in running as the territory is already overrepresented in Madrid’s Trenlab: around 25% of all companies that have participated in it are Catalan.

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