The History of Innovate


Managing Director

Alastair Swanwick

One of his ideas, the Ice Clear -1, a device he developed to prevent water troughs from freezing over.


The UK’s Leading Invention Development Company – History

During the 1990’s, whilst working in London, Alastair Swanwick had several product ideas he wanted to further. When looking for a company with the expertise to help develop new product ideas and provide the relevant intellectual property and marketing advice, Alastair found himself at a loss. He soon realised the real lack of resources and assistance available to individual inventors and became all too aware of the precarious nature of invention marketing companies. He recognised that the missing link between what was available and what was needed, was the ability to develop and protect an idea on a minimum budget with the correct advice.

New Timeline Innovate product design


The founding idea for Innovate was created; Alastair enrolled on an Engineering Product Design course as a mature student to learn the tools of his trade. In 2001, Alastair founded Innovate as a company that specialised in helping inventors to design and develop new ideas. His new business method, and his honest approach to innovation, was championed by Alan Sugar in an article the following year.

Over the next few years, Alastair employed some of the country’s leading young designers to help him professionally design and prototype new inventions for clients. The services Innovate provided gradually began to expand, in line with the inventor’s needs and the changing times. Alastair brought in Intellectual Property experts to assist with patent, patent searching and drafting services.

Due to the growth and success of the business, Innovate became a limited company in 2009. Additional support services were gradually introduced, seeing a rapid expansion of the Research and Marketing Department.

In 2010, Innovate were able to expand their prototyping department by moving into a refurbished Victorian warehouse, complete with design studios and a Research Department.

At the start of 2011, Innovate introduced their new Product Marketing Advisory Service to provide a complete one-stop-shop for individual inventors and SME’s. This service provides a more hands-on approach to taking products to market, whilst still maintaining the company ethos of helping people to profit from their ideas.

In March 2011, the British Standards Institution finally acknowledged the need for regulations to govern how invention support companies assist individuals; a reflection on Alastair’s initial concerns that had been the founding philosophy of Innovate. Thus, Innovate Product Design, alongside other known institutions, became voluntarily governed by the regulations of the British standard: BS8538:2011 Specification, for the provision of services relating to the commercialization of Intellectual Property Rights.

The year 2012 saw the opening of an office in San Francisco to help UK inventors to break into the huge US market, whilst also assisting US inventors with product design services.

In 2014, Innovate was recognised by the UK Government Trade & Investment with an award for business innovation.

Today, Innovate Design continues to succeed in helping clients to market new product and business ideas. Innovate’s ever-expanding array of expertise sees them currently comprising award winning design engineers, researchers, business development professionals and Intellectual Property experts, with experience in all areas of IP, product design and manufacture. Innovate now provide a complete service from protecting your product, through design and prototyping, to help with marketing. With in-house expertise, Innovate can take an idea from paper to product, providing inventors with the best chance of success at market.

Benefits of using Innovate Design

  • We have over 10 years experience in developing ideas
  • We offer a review of your idea free of charge
  • You retain 100% of the idea and therefore 100% of the profits
  • All information shared is 100% confidential
  • We have been acknowledged as an approved consultant provider by Business Link | London since 2002
  • Our business and documentation is formulated to be compliant with BS 8538:2011 – what this means

How can Innovate Design help?

  • Expert advice on Intellectual Property (IP) protection, including patenting
  • Global patent searching to establish originality
  • Cost effective professional product design
  • Prototyping your new product idea
  • Help with Intellectual Property applications
  • Product marketing advice and assistance