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PRESENTED BY EAST SWEDEN

How East Sweden’s tech focus is making the future happen

It's a region with a strong focus on tech innovation. It's also the ideal place to live and work for those with big ideas. We examine how East Sweden is making the future happen, and find out why it's a fantastic location for tech professionals to settle.

How East Sweden’s tech focus is making the future happen
Visitors engage with exhibits at the Visualisation Centre C in Linköping. Photo: East Sweden

East Sweden boasts some of the largest concentrations in Europe of several emerging industries – from the creation of sustainable and biodegradable electronics created using plant fibres, to the development of ‘smart cameras’, that can make their own decisions on what to focus on when filming. 

This status as a centre of innovation is the result of a decade-long strategic plan. It is designed to place East Sweden at the ‘bleeding edge’ of research and development – not only across Sweden, but across Scandinavia.

Niklas Tideklev, Process leader, Team Innovation at Region Östergötland, told us: “Here we have five areas we specialise in – visualisation, smart and connected systems, advanced materials, logistics and environmental benefits for business. Each area is catered to by one or more innovation hotspots.”

Such hotspots include the Science Parks in Linköping and Norrköping. These exciting locations are places where startups and established sector leaders meet academia, providing space for collaboration. Others, like Visual Sweden and the Innovative Materials Arena, encompass the entire Linköping/Norrköping metropolitan area, hosting regular events, conferences and hackathons for business and researchers in their area of specialisation. 

Some of the world’s biggest innovators in their fields, gathered in one vibrant region. Explore the opportunities available for professionals in East Sweden

Simulations and single-use electronics 

“One of the most exciting areas on which we focus is visualisation – the field of bringing different sources of data together visually in such a way that we can use them to make decisions,” says Niklas.

The region boasts over one hundred different companies that work together on optics, image analysis and computer technology that allows large-scale simulations. 

“Within this cluster, they are doing fascinating things with what are called ‘digital twins’. These are exact virtual models of places and objects. Think of them like an incredibly complex computer simulation.

“We now have a ‘digital twin’ of Norrköping. The entire city has been recreated, down to street level. It lets us answer questions about what kind of buildings we can use, and how we can improve traffic flow. We can see exactly how things will work before we do anything in the real world. Very cool!

“In another cluster, we have companies using lignin, a material found in plants to print circuitry and create single-use electronics. Compared to plastic, it’s cheaper, wearable – and biodegradable!”

So who are the kind of professionals that are contributing to East Sweden’s success? 

Spark of invention: Innovation hotspots across East Sweden regular hold hackathons to push the boundaries of what is possible: Photos: Crelle/East Sweden

Pavel: New opportunities and connections

Czech Pavel Schoffer came to Sweden five years ago, to work as a programmer. Originally working for Klarna in Stockholm, Pavel and his family made the decision to move to Östergötland.

“We moved when my wife, who is an ophthalmologist, found a job in Norrköping. At that point, I decided to start working remotely and I founded my own software company.

“Soon, I joined the Norrköping Science Park – it’s a coworking space and a thriving community of startups, coders and other tech professionals. I work remotely mainly for a US company called Automattic, and I spend a lot of time at the park.

“It’s great because when I am there, I am able to get involved in meet-up groups that focus on topics like coding and coming up with ideas to collaborate on. There are so many opportunities for networking and sharing ideas on a daily basis.”

As for life outside the workplace, Pavel couldn’t be happier.

“Norrköping is a town that is exactly the right size for me. Stockholm was a little bit too large. It could sometimes be hard to meet people, and it took a while to get anywhere. Here, you can just walk or cycle to where you want to get to. It is big enough that there is always something happening, new people to meet, and there is also a lot of beautiful scenery to enjoy, which is very important to me.

“We also have two small kids that go to a really good preschool. I need to start taking lessons, because my kids are now speaking Swedish! Compared to the Czech Republic, it’s much easier to find a good school place for our kids and that was a huge draw for me.”

Pavel Schoffer and Sogand Talebi are two of the tech professionals drawn to the East Sweden region. Photos: Supplied

Sogand: A better way of living

Sogand Talebi, from Iran, found a job in East Sweden within the cluster focusing on visualisation. Now she’s now working in Linköping on cutting-edge technologies that have a huge range of applications.

“After studying in Iran and Italy, I’m a software developer now, working at a company called SICK. We work on ‘sensor intelligence’ cameras that use AI-powered algorithms when they are filming, to know what to focus on. They are used in very different applications, such as retail logistics, airport security and traffic management. It is very interesting work, and I feel like I belong there.”

Like Pavel, Sogand’s transition to living in East Sweden has been very smooth.

“We have plenty of initiatives at work to make us feel welcome, things like after-work parties and chess competitions. I’m taking Swedish classes and I’m starting to make both Swedish and international friends.

“I find it easy to get around – especially on a bike. You can get almost anywhere, because there are plenty of bike paths all across Linköping. There is also good public transportation.

“The quality of life is wonderful. The efficiency of transport, the quality of housing, the variety of what you can buy in supermarkets, it’s fantastic. It was really surprising and pleasing, compared to my time in Italy and Iran.”

East Sweden’s secret? Bringing in the best

A major reason that Pavel and Sogand have found such a home in East Sweden is careful planning and design. A significant part of East Sweden‘s efforts in attracting and keeping the best talent has been making it the ideal place to live.

While East Sweden is a region of great natural beauty, with plenty of room to settle, it is the infrastructure put in place that is attracting tech professionals.

Effective public transportation makes commuting much simpler, including autonomous buses. Three major airports – Linköping City Airport, Norrköping Airport and Stockholm-Skavsta Airport, serve the area. Major long-distance rail project, East Link, is also drastically reducing the time it takes to get to Stockholm.

Preschools, child care and schools – including several international ones – are plentiful, and healthcare is of a very high standard, drawing on research institutions such as Linköping University Hospital.

Live life in East Sweden at your own pace, while working on some of the world’s most exciting tech projects. Find out how Östergötland can make that happen

Linköping and Norrköping are home to two major Science Parks. Photos: East Sweden

Future milestones

Having already experienced tremendous growth, the East Sweden region has developed road maps for growth for the five specialisations that reach into the next decade. Central to this is a continued commitment to creating the kind of living and working environments that brought Pavel and Sogand to the area.

East Sweden will also benefit from both the Swedish government and the private sector’s massive investments in infrastructure and energy. Significant amounts of money have been announced in the last year to create faster, more efficient links to the rest of the country, while new solar parks and onshore wind farms will ensure cheaper, cleaner energy across the region. 

Along the way, East Sweden is betting on the industries and professionals it has attracted returning on that investment, delivering some of the research, technologies and products that will help shape the world in coming decades. 

Discover what East Sweden has to offer you as a technology professional, and embrace a lifestyle that gives you room to grow, while making the future happen

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WORKING IN SWEDEN

Ten easy-access cafés and libraries to study or work from in Stockholm

Whether you are a student looking for a place to study or someone who works remotely and is looking for a new atmosphere, Stockholm caters to a diverse range of preferences and needs.

Ten easy-access cafés and libraries to study or work from in Stockholm

At times, it’s necessary to seek out a fresh workspace or study environment to enhance our focus and productivity.

Here’s our selection of Stockholm cafés where you can enjoy a cup of coffee and the aroma of the beans in the air, to libraries where you can completely get into the zone and options that give you a chance to network in an office-like space.

Stockholm City Libraries

If you like to work in a quiet and peaceful place, then one of Stockholm City’s Libraries might be the place for you. It offers work and study places, free Wi-Fi and they also have printing facilities. A library card is not required to access the library, but if you want to borrow or reserve books then it is needed.

More information and to find the closest library to you, can be found here.

Stockholm University Library

The library on Stockholm University’s campus is open to everyone. This library has a mix of quiet work areas as well as noisy sections. Most seats have power outlets available, students and those who have access to Eduroam can use that network, but a temporary login can be found at the library entrance. In addition, there is a café and two shops situated within the same building.

More information can be found here.

Location: Universitetsvägen 14D, 114 18 Stockholm

KTH Library

Another university library which is open to everyone is the KTH Royal Institute of Technology’s library.

Here you can find a number of quiet places to work and study, with the majority of seats equipped with power outlets. Eduroam’s wireless network is available throughout the library along with a guest network, details on how to connect to this can be found at the information desk.

Café Stories is located in the entrance hall, but be aware that no foods, such as sandwiches, wraps or salads are allowed in the quiet sections of the library. Snacks and drinks which have lids are allowed in.

Find additional details here.

Location: Kungliga Tekniska högskolans bibliotek, Osquars backe 21, 114 28 Stockholm

Goto 10

Goto 10 allows its members to access work lounges, hold events, record podcasts and test a 3D printer all within their premises (they’ve also got hubs in Malmö and Linköping). The membership is free and in return you are asked to contribute to creating content for Goto 10.

Their lounges include Wi-Fi, seating with power outlets, microwaves and a coffee machine.

Information about Goto 10 and how you can become a member can be found here.

Location: Hammarby kaj 10D, 120 30 Stockholm

Scandic Hotel

The hotel group Scandic offers co-working spaces and a hotel room office in their hotels. Prices for their co-working spaces start from 99 kronor per day and it includes free Wi-Fi, power outlets, coffee and tea, printing and copying services, and a 10 percent discount on food.
The co-working spaces are available in all 270 Scandic hotels, in six countries and 26 of those are in Stockholm.

More information and a price list can be found here.

Bröd & Salt

The café chain Bröd & Salt has shops all across the city. The chain also offers a workspace subscription called Club Salt, which gives you access to six of their co-working spaces. These workspaces are located in Torsplan, Jarlsgatan, Odenplan, Kungsholmen, Fleminggatan and Uppsala if you want to venture outside the capital. They offer shared spaces to work, with power outlets and Wi-Fi, and the subscription comes with a discount on a variety of menu items sold at Bröd & Salt.

Subscriptions for the co-working space start from 599 kronor per month.

More information can be found here.

Espresso House

You can find Espresso House in many corners of the country. They may be part of a chain with everything that entails, but they are popular spots to work from, which is evident from the many laptops that can be seen when you enter. The cafés usually offer free Wi-Fi and some seats have a power outlet as well. It is important to note that it could get a bit loud in the café.

Find your closest Espresso House here.

Waynes

Another café chain in Sweden and in Stockholm is Waynes. The company has a number of shops across the city and like many cafés it provides free Wi-Fi and a certain amount of power outlets. If you do not want to travel too far, but still want a nice coffee shop to work from then Waynes fits that description.

Find out more here.

ilcaffé

Another popular café to work from is ilcaffé. Located in Bergsgatan, Drottninggatan, Långholmsgatan and Södermannagatan, this café has free Wi-Fi and a number of power outlets. The café offers a range of sandwiches, treats and coffee, so there is no wonder why it has become a popular work hub.

Information about ilcaffé can be found here.

Urban Deli

The hotel, restaurant and café chain Urban Deli has five shops in Stockholm. They are located in Sveavägen, Nytorget, Sickla, Centralen and Hagastaden. The shop in Sveavägen in particular is a popular spot used by those who want to enjoy a coffee or a meal and work or study away. It has free Wi-Fi and power outlets at certain seats.

You can find more information here.

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