​Once again, the Renfe-SNCF in Cooperation trains that link Barcelona with Paris have been the stage where the Imagine Express was held. This technological event, which in 5000 minutes challenges its participants to develop projects and applications that improve the quality of life of their users, has once again demonstrated that talent and great ideas do not require great resources, and that having little time for their development is a challenge that the participating teams have been able to overcome.

This year, in addition to being sponsors and the means of transport, as well as the place where much of this incredible hackaton would take place, we had the pleasure of incorporating our own team, whose objective was to develop a project to improve the user experience of the passengers of our High Speed trains. 

Estació de França, the stage where we were able to meet the candidates to be part of the Renfe-SNCF in Cooperation team

To choose the participants, last January 31st we celebrated the "Dream Big Challenge" at the Estació de França in Barcelona, where almost 100 participants, divided into teams of 3 people, began to design and develop their projects, following a working methodology devised by Imagine Creativity Center. The best projects presented that day were chosen to be finalists so they can opt to join this train of innovation that for 6 years has united Barcelona and Paris, and from which some successful startups have already been born. 

Mathieu, Raffaela and Núria, the members of our team for the Imagine Express, accompanied by Juan Carlos Ponce, responsible for Spain of Renfe-SNCF in Cooperation.

The next stop on this trip took place last February 7th at the Antiga Fàbrica Estrella Damm in Barcelona, where we were able to meet all the teams participating in the Imagine Express, including our own, on an afternoon. There, we also saw some of the novelties planned for this edition, in which our high-speed trains have had more importance than ever, since in addition to the outward journey, the return was also made with Renfe-SNCF in Cooperation trains.

The countdown begins! 5000 minutes await us to develop innovative projects on board the train

As is traditional, the Friday before the celebration of the Mobile World Congress was the chosen day to start this new edition of Imagine Express. In the morning, all the teams began their work dynamics at the Movistar Centre in Barcelona, and it was at midday when we left for the Sants Station, ready to get on this disruption train again to live intensely the kilometers that separated us from Paris, and to take advantage of a scenario so different from the usual one for the development of technological projects. 

As every year, our trains that link Barcelona with Paris became a mobile office in which to develop technological projects.

Another novelty of this year was that the presentation of the projects was nothing more and nothing less than a boat sailing on the River Seine, in which the participating teams were able on Sunday morning to present the ideas and prototypes they had been developing throughout the day on Saturday. Without a doubt, a luxurious setting, as it is not every day you can see the Eiffel Tower or Notre Dame from the window of the office. 

Mathieu, Núria and Raffaela posing with the diploma that certifies them as one of the winning teams of the Imagine Express

Once back in Barcelona, and after another morning in the Movistar Centre of Plaza Catalunya that served to prepare the presentations, the 5 finalist teams of this challenge could demonstrate live, in one of the auditoriums of 4YFN what had been developing during the 5000 minutes of this Imagine Express.

Among them, of course, the Renfe-SNCF in Cooperation team, formed by Núria Tió, Raffaela Schreurs and Mathieu Bertrandy, who developed a project to take advantage of the hours we spend on the train to train about different subjects, taking advantage of an application in which passengers can register both to receive and to offer their services as trainers.

Our team presenting their project "Train in the train" at the 4YFN

The end of the party, as is traditional, was the countdown of the last seconds of this edition of Imagine Express, which gave way to the celebration in which all participants​ were finally able to relax and enjoy with the rest of the companions of the last moments of this incredible adventure aboard our trains. ​

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