iPrint is an Institute and a Competence Center of the School of Engineering and Architecture of Fribourg (HEIA-FR), member of the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland (HES-SO).
iPrint is currently one of the largest and most dynamic institutions for applied research in digital printing. The performed applied research is multidisciplinary, drawing on the latest developments in engineering and on close collaborations with fundamental research institutes. As a leading research partner for industry, iPrint regularly makes significant contributions to technology innovation. Thanks to its expertise in processes and methods, instrumental development and advanced materials, the iPrint Institute is a valued provider of know-how in various industrial sectors.
Furthermore, we are highly active in developing new Innovative Technologies for tomorrow's digital production and in offering Technology Transfer services to our partners.
iPrint connects people and knowledge to create innovations that boost the valuable products for our ecosystem and the well-being of society in a sustainable way. This is our mission and it is what drives us in our work every day. We believe in the joint creation of economic and social value.
Every four years, we draw up a strategic plan that describes how we will pursue our mission. This plan is our proposal to society. Our strategy is a reflection of the needs we observe in society and technology. In close coordination with our stakeholders we have defined four applied research domains and one domain of innovative technologies on which we will focus.
These are in line with the challenges and ambitions of the development and social themes in Switzerland.
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.