• About us

About us


The core aim of the Plastics Innovations Competence Center (PICC) is to be an innovator and problem solver for the Plastic Industry.

The iRAP strategic focus remains on conventional plastics processing and product design but is enlarged towards processing novel plastic materials and technology including applied multi-scale modelling.

The PICC is associated to the Swiss Plastics Cluster (SPC) as supports with technical consulting and specialized trainings.

  • PICC delivers industry-relevant technology solutions to foster economic growth;

  • PICC leverages science and technology knowledge with the innovative power of global partnerships in high value added applications;

  • PICC performs world-leading R&D in plastics material development, processing, and application design;

  • PICC’s international top-talent is committed to providing building blocks that better quality of life in a sustainable environment;

  • The transmission of knowledge through training and specialized courses in the field of the plastics industry and the knowledge of materials;

The PICC platform enables iRAP collaborations with other HEIA-FR institutes to offer expanded and complementing services to support industry and tackle long term R&D projects:

  •  iRAP  - Institute for applied plastic research,
  • Chemtech - Institute of Chemical Technology
  • iCosys - Institut des Systèmes complexes


The Plastics Innovation Competence Center (PICC) is legally represented by the University of Applied Science Western Switzerland (Hes so) and the School of Engineering and Architecture (HEIA-FR).

It is part of the technology and innovation platform called INNOSQUARE whose goal is to promote public-private partnerships to build the capacity of the Fribourg innovation economy and give companies access to talented and skilled engineers.

Dr. Rudy J. Koopmans

Director PICC

Dr. Koopmans was a Dow Research & Development Fellow for 35 years. He has a Ph.D. in physical chemistry and a master’s degree in business. He wants to take advantage of his vast experience to promote innovation through the networking of industrial and academic circles.

Research Summary: Theoretical Soft Matter Physics; Polymer processing rheology, Bio-based self-assembling materials


The R&D team who worked within the PICC :

• Prof. Dr. Stefan Hengsberger, Professor HEIA-FR iRAP

Research Summary: Nanomechanical testing applying nanoindentation, Surface Physics and Spectroscopy, Nanotribology applying Atomic Force Microscopy, Tribology, Nanomaterials, Coatings and Surface treatments

Stefan Hengsberger is a professor at the HEIA- Fribourg where he mainly works on (nano)tribological properties of surfaces treatments. He has a PhD from the Mechanical Engineering department at EPFL (Lausanne) and a Master in physics from the University of  Saarbrücken (Germany). Since 2013, he is member of the institute of Applied Plastics Research where he is working on national and European projects dealing with the influence of surface treatments on plastic processing parameters, Polymer tribology as well as (nano)mechanical properties of Coatings. 

+41 (0)26 429 6723

• Bruno Bürgisser, Professor HEIA-FR iRAP

• Dr. Denis Cuche, Professor HEIA-FR iRAP

• Dr. Laure Lalande, Professor HEIA-FR iRAP

• Dr. Jean Hennebert, Professor HEIA-FR and Responsible iCoSys

• Dr. Ennio Vanoli, Professor HEIA-FR and Responsible Chemtech

• Gabriele Bordoli, Scientific assistant HEIA-FR / IRAP

• Jean-Marie Dutoit, Scientific assistant HEIA-FR / IRAP

• Ilaria Conte

• Etienne C. Jaquier, Scientific assistant HEIA-FR / IRAP

• Gaétan Baeriswyl

• Jalil Badaoui, Scientific assistant HEIA-FR / IRAP