The Innovate Story
We spent the last 20 years getting better at helping inventors and startups to develop product ideas on tight budgets.
Find out how we went from one inventor’s mission to make it easier for individuals to develop their ideas, to an award-winning design studio exporting British design services to inventors around the world.
Meet the team
Alastair founded Innovate in 2001 and spent the next 20 years growing Innovate to become the place to develop new product ideas. He is a founding member of the California Invention Centre, a member of Design Innovation Plastics Student Awards Organising Committee, a fellow of Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures & Commerce and was a co-presenter of BBC Knowledge ‘Science Fix’ show.
In 2021 Alastair became Chairman and now uses his extensive business knowledge to develop Innovate’s business support services.
Barbara Bouffard is Co-Managing Director at Innovate Design, a company that she initially founded 20 years ago with her husband Alastair to support inventors to bring their ideas to commercial reality. Educated at Business School in Bordeaux, Barbara is working towards an MBA at the University of Bath.
At Innovate, Barbara organises the design and delivery of the automated business systems that ensure Innovate delivers projects on time and at a market-beating price.
James has been developing commercial products since 2007 including helping develop award-winning smart lighting products for UK startup Halcyon and helping Richard Browning build early prototypes for his jet suit project “Gravity Industries”. James occasionally learns from his own experiments like Hark – a necklace designed using soundwaves and 3d printed in metal.
At Innovate, James manages Innovate’s design process and oversees the development of client projects to make sure every product is developed for the best chance of commercial success.
Your idea development guides
Our knowledgeable client management team help our clients navigate the idea development process. Development can feel complicated but our team are on hand with useful information and support throughout the process
Product development experts
Our award-winning team of UK-based designers includes specialists in product design, electronics, engineering, app development, fabric product design, packaging, branding and more. Our broad selection of designers and state-of-the-art facilities enables us to do more in-house and create leading designs on tight budgets.
Our research team covers intellectual property, customer, market and business research. Overseen by a UK patent attorney and with subscriptions, to commercial databases the team can conduct thorough research which can inform the direction of your design and help you avoid wasting money.