Immersed in Oxford Innovation’s network of innovation centres for over a decade, Rideo Systems is embarking on an exciting new venture from Culham Innovation Centre. The company is attracting interest from commercial organisations in the Far East and several famous clients with its innovative imaging technology.
The founder of Rideo Systems, Dr Paul Apte, tells how his technology business has benefited from having a prestigious address at Culham Science Centre and reveals his future plans.
My Oxford Innovation journey
“I spent 15 years working for large companies such as Rutherford Appleton Laboratory and Exitech Ltd where I developed many new product innovations. I decided to take the plunge to start-up my own business in 2003 to become a consultant, designer and developer on a somewhat smaller scale. I specialise in laser-based equipment for Laser Micromachining and Photonics applications working across a range of markets including electronics, semiconductors, digital holography, biomedical devices and laser instrumentation.
Living in Oxford, I had the option to go north or south and chose Cherwell Innovation Centre, part of the Oxford Innovation network of centres, near Bicester. However, South Oxfordshire became a better location for business development with so many technology businesses based in the district with close access to London too. In 2013 I moved to Culham Innovation Centre located at the prestigious Culham Science Centre. One of my clients, Tokamak Energy, also happened to be based at the centre. In fact, I helped the founding managing director, David Kingham, to build one of the world’s first compact tabletop Tokamaks.
Soon after moving to the centre, I transformed my office space into a development lab to support my business needs and the space now operates as both with plans already in motion to create a separate demonstration lab next year. Culham Innovation Centre has provided me with a fantastic community both within the centre and the wider site with an overlap of long-term residents. The site is extremely secure, so I have no worry about leaving valuable equipment here and the centre team are very accommodating and flexible. The innovation centre offers a professional address, nice meeting rooms and a big company feel. This is important to the development of my new venture.
“The site is extremely secure, so I have no worry about leaving valuable equipment here and the centre team are very accommodating and flexible. The innovation centre offers a professional address, nice meeting rooms and a big company feel. This is important to the development of my new venture."
Dr Paul Apte, Founder of Rideo
Holograms of the future
I’ve recently started a new partnership with a former client, Spatial Imaging Ltd, to develop large format digital holographic mastering systems. The company specialises in creating embossed holograms that are for brand protection, security, and decorative packaging. We’ve had strong interest from the Far East and are working with an agent in China to further grow the business. This may eventually come under the umbrella of Rideo Systems, but we are currently working through the company structure.
Spatial Imaging also has a successful holographic art business and my business partner, Rob Munday specialises in portraiture and natural subjects. I’m involved in helping Rob develop the 3D capture system needed to record these images. His website, holograms.co.uk, details some of his famous commissions, including the first ever official holographic portrait of Her Majesty the Queen.
We will be taking more space at Culham Innovation Centre to create a technology demonstration area for clients and prospective clients. One of the huge benefits of being based here is the ability to easily expand and make the space our own. We are working through the plans as we speak. It really is an exciting time!”
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