Ung Företagsamhet, Framtidsfrön och NTA – Linköping initiatives inspring the younger generation with science, tech and entrepreneurship – Stories from the Science Park

Linköping is not just the hometown for brilliant minds, but also brilliant initiatives. NTA- Naturvetenskap, teknik, arbetsliv (eng. Science and Technology for All), Ung Företagsamhet and Framtidsfrön all have their roots  here in Linköping and an aim to encourage children and young students to learn more about tech and entrepreneurship aswell as inspiring teachers. We talked to representatives from all three initiatives to hear their view on how they help secure the future! 

– We want to give students a drive and motivation for the future, where they are able to take conscious and active decisions. We want to make entrepreneurship a given subject in school, says Anna Wallin, Operation Manager at Framtidsfrön

Lighting a spark

NTA started as an initiative in 1997 to support children’s interest in chemistry, physics, biology and technology. Today it has spread to 135 municipalities in Sweden. NTA has also opened the door for Linköping to participate in many other collaborations around the world.

Kerstin Reimstad, Former Project Manager at NTA

– Linköping got a lot of attention both nationally but also internationally, says Kerstin Reimstad, former Project Manager at NTA

The effects from the project are not only higher grades for the students, but also a higher satisfaction from both students, parents and teachers.

– NTA helps the teachers who might find science lessons challenging due to all the materials and equipment that can be used. NTA comes in pre-done boxes with different themes which makes it easier for the teacher, Kerstin explains.

An important part of NTA is professional development for teachers. The cooperation with Linköping University and the business sector in Linköping was therefore crucial for the project. 

-There is a strong incitament for the university and for the business sector to support the teaching and learning of science and technology for children. As it, in the long run, provides them with more students and talents within these fields.

A glimpse into entrepreneurship

Lars Hindrum, Project Manager Östergötland at Ung Företagsamhet

We also talked to Lars Hindrum, Project Manager Östergötland at Ung Företagsamhet. Ung Företagsamhet helps teenagers start their own companies in high school. He explains that studies have shown that children who take on this opportunity, have a higher average income later in life and a higher chance of starting their own business. 

– The goal is to give students a first glimpse into entrepreneurship, how to run and in the end liquidate a company. 

Ung Företagsamhet was founded in 1980 with the long term goal to see students develop their own creativity and curiosity with the help of entrepreneurship. The pandemic has proved that the students in Linköping are not afraid to adapt. 

-They have learned a lot about how to adapt and to follow the changes in the world. This is an important tool for the future that they will carry with them, says Lars.

Creating conscious citizens

Supporting children’s creative minds is one thing that Framtidsfrön actively is working on. 

Anna Wallin, Operation Manager at Framtidsfrön

– The aim of our methods is to contribute to their creativeness, self confidence, inspiration and belief in the future, explains Anna. 

Framtidsfrön is one of the newer initiatives from Linköping, it was founded in 2002 with the thought that entrepreneurs are shaped at an early age. 

– We want to help shape individuals who are able to go from idea to action. That creates conscious citizens who are ready for the working life.

Children who have worked with Framtidsfrön from a younger age, are more likely to start their own UF – company in high school. 

– It is important that the main thread of entrepreneurship and creativeness can continue throughout all of the school years, since it has such positive effects in the long run. 

Catching the ideas 

Lars, Anna and Kerstin share the view that Linköping is actively working on creating and keeping young talents within the community.

– Linköping is an innovative town where a lot of knowledge can be found and that is why Ung Företagsamhet was founded here, says Lars.  

That these initiatives could be founded and grow here is no coincidence since Linköping is far ahead within innovation and technical development.

– There is a positive system here that really catches and follows ideas and turns them into reality, Anna tells us and she continues on by saying that Linköping truly lives up to the slogan “where ideas become reality”.