The iPrint Institute was founded in 2013 by Professor Fritz Bircher, electrical engineer from ETH Zurich. It is part of the School of Engineering and Architecture Fribourg (HEIA-FR), and the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland (HES-SO).
Benefitting a support from HEIA-FR, and a substantial fund from the Ursula Wirz Foundation, the Print Institute started applied research in large scale printing processes studying and exploring all possible jetting and dispensing principles.
With a focus on inkjet technology, the iPrint Institute, in its early beginnings, successfully conducted government funded research projects on a national and international level as well as many feasibility studies printing all kinds of materials for a wide range of applications.
The Institute managed to build an excellent team and very fast grew into an internationally recognized institution. With the need of developing more space for new laboratories and research facilities, it moved twice ending up finally at the Marly Innovation Center, where it is installed currently on 1’500 m2.
Today, around 40 professionals share their knowledge and expertise in a place where academia and industry are being brought together.
The iPrint Institute also promotes high-level education and offers hands-on practical training in inkjet engineering and chemistry with several courses through “The Inkjet Training Center”. The education is extended to regular student projects on Bachelor (mechanics, electronics, computer science, chemistry), and Master level.
With a broad national and international industry and academic network, with frequent exchange with CEOs and CTOs of companies and key researchers from well-known institutes, the iPrint Institute has a clear overview of relevant meta topics in digital printing.
In recent years, the iPrint Institute has proven to be able to anticipate the right topics and to develop very early competences and infrastructure for exploring the potential of processes and products into new markets. Inkjet technology as the iPrint Institute’s USP is digital by nature and digitalization is omnipresent in today’s innovation.
The iPrint Institute runs actually several dozen of projects in parallel and has built more than 30 custom-built research printer platforms.