Patent Search, Patent Office Info & Invention Development Advice

Dedicated to helping UK inventors

020 7354 5640

Meet the Innovate team

The Innovate Design team is diverse and talented, with people from many different backgrounds, ages and levels of experience - however all are highly skilled within their area of expertise - design engineers, researchers, business development professionals and Intellectual Property experts. Below is a little bit of information about each of our team so you can get to know them a bit better!

Alastair Swanwick, Managing Director

Engineering Product Designer Alastair Swanwick founded Innovate in 2002. Since then he has used his extensive knowledge of product development and patenting to refine Innovate's process of effectively developing concepts to assist individuals with new product ideas. He is most often found on the telephone assisting inventors market their ideas or talking to potential new manufacturing or licensing partners.

Alastair is a member of INTIPSA (Intellectual Property Strategists Association)

Della Williams, Patent & Research Manager

Della is a CIPA (Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys) qualified Patent Administrator and has successfully completed the IP Masterclass Training Programme run by the Intellectual Property Office and Coventry University. Her daily tasks range from initial reviews of ideas, Intellectual Patent Searching through to patenting advice. Della joined Innovate in 2008 and has progressed into the position of research and administration manager. In her spare time she enjoys country walks and off roading.


Tiffany Roddis

Tiffany joined us in 2010. She is a creative and lateral thinker with an aptitude for innovation and design. She graduated from the University of Leeds with two First Class (Hons) degrees: Master of Design and Bachelor of Design (Product Design). Her skills include problem solving, cad modeling & visualisations. Outside work, her interests include 1960s subculture (music, fashion and products), screen printing, photography, travelling and cooking.

Aby Thomas

Aby graduated from Bournemouth University in 2006 with a First Class (Hons) Degree in Product Design, and joined Innovate in 2009. This is her third experience of consultancy work, after working in London for an Ergonomics Company and in Melbourne, Australia for a Design and Advertising Consultancy. Aby enjoys the client interaction that comes with her job, as well as producing well thought out designs in response to fully understanding the client's initial brief. When not at work Aby enjoys relaxing and playing sports by the beach, she is a keen traveller and uses this as inspiration for painting.

Christian Pichler

Chris joined Innovate in 2011 after graduating with a BSc (Hons) in 3D Product design from the University of Plymouth. His interests lie in designing innovative solutions, both for the consumer and social enterprise markets. Chris's strengths lie in 3D visualisations and the ability to design in a holistic way. Outside work Chris enjoys extreme sports (surfing in particular) and playing guitar.

Clare Schofield

Clare is an inventive designer who graduated from Bournemouth University with a First Class (Hons) degree in Product Design. With a broad skill set she seeks to provide innovative product solutions that are central to the user, whilst instilling creative and functional value. Outside of work Clare enjoys baking, watching films and spending time with friends and family.

Andrew Gordon

Andrew graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Product Design from Bournemouth University. Since joining Innovate in 2011, Andrew has worked on a wide range of projects in various industry sectors and also has experience of working for a design consultancy abroad. He has a particular interest in product styling, branding and problem solving and enjoys challenging convention through a balance of new technologies, materials and manufacturing processes, creating experiences that connect emotionally with users.
Outside or work, Andrew enjoys surfing, experiencing new cultures and visiting his family home in Jersey.

Ben Richards

Ben graduated from Bournemouth University with BSc (Hons) in Product Design in 2011 and joined Innovate in January 2012. He displays a solid range of design skills showing a keen interest for bringing together function and aesthetics providing the end user with visually appealing yet practical solutions. Also proficient in web design and development having previously worked in this field, Ben’s time is split between CAD & sketching and web design as he builds and develops the web presence for Innovate and their clients.
In his own time, Ben is a keen cyclist and can be found riding through the Dorset and Wiltshire countryside.

Vicky Rands

Vicky graduated from the University of Lincoln in 2007 with a BA (Hons) Product Design. She has experience and passion for consumer products in a wide range of industries and enjoys solving problems with innovative solutions, whilst providing a suitable user experience. In her spare time, Vicky enjoys travelling and finds this also provides inspiration and influences her design work. She also enjoys outdoor activities and dance classes at the gym, as well as a love for theatre and music.

Amy Barnsdale

Amy graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Product Design from Bournemouth University in 2011. Previous employment with other design consultancies and self driven freelance projects have given her a strong set of skills including 3D modelling, graphics editing and sketching. Since arriving at Innovate Amy has been tasked with building a number of prototypes which have enabled her to showcase her practical ability and see projects through from the point of conception to final working models giving her a greater understanding for design for manufacture.
When not at work Amy can be found in the gym keeping fit, or tucked away with her Kindle.

Tom Shirley

After graduating from Leeds University in 2007, Tom worked as a Product, Graphic and Furniture Designer before completing a Master in Industrial Design at Loughborough University in 2011. After a short stint designing furniture and accessories for the retail industry he accepted a position as a Product Designer at Innovate. Tom is a hardworking, enthusiastic designer whose broad industry experience has led to a well rounded skill set including strong Graphic Design, CAD modelling, Product Design and Visualisation skills. He has a variety of interests including graphics, branding, furniture, human centred design, biomimetic design, science and engineering.

Tara Bradley-Birt

Tara is a textiles specialist who graduated from Bournemouth University in 2012 with a First Class (Hons) Degree in Fashion and Textiles. With previous experience in global fashion and trade fair markets, Tara aims to provide clients with specific design solutions. Tara's skillset includes fabric sourcing, textile design and innovation, trend intelligence, pattern cutting and CAD. In her spare time Tara enjoys travelling and culinary arts.


Robyn Fairweather

Robyn joined Innovate in 2010 as a Client Manager, a role that involves helping clients research, develop and protect their ideas. Being naturally inquisitive, she particularly enjoys the market research side of the role as well as the opportunity to converse with a wide variety of people on a day to day basis. Robyn has successfully completed the IP Masterclass Training Programme run by the Intellectual Property Office and Coventry University. During her time off, Robyn can be found enjoying long walks with her spaniel Lucy, or in a shopping centre.

Alex Bell

Alex joined Innovate in 2011 as a Client Manager after 6 years in a client facing role in the pensions industry. His role is a varied and interesting one, helping clients achieve their goal of taking the seed of an idea and helping it grow to a fully fledged product. He has successfully completed the IP Masterclass Training Programme run by the Intellectual Property Office and Coventry University. Alex is an avid fan of all things gadget, and enjoys seeing the many different and quirky ideas that his client’s imaginations conjure up. When not in work Alex enjoys reading graphic novels, watching films of all genres and playing indoor football at a very basic level, spending more time running around chasing the ball than scoring goals!

Helen Clements

Helen joined Innovate as a Client Manager in 2011. A graduate of Roehampton University, she has since successfully completed the Intellectual Property Master Class. Her day-to-day activities require a vast range of skills, from researching initial ideas and conversing with a wide variety of clients, to advising on intellectual property matters and assisting clients through the complex patenting process.
In her own time Helen enjoys cooking, socialising with friends, and the odd bit of shopping.

Tim Mount

Tim Mount is a patent attorney and qualified solicitor with experience of contentious and non-contentious registered design, patent, trade mark, and wider intellectual property and commercial law work. He also has extensive experience of patent application drafting. This combined skill-set is unique to a product design firm, and brings us fresh perspectives in-house. In previous lives Tim ran retail and catering businesses, and has a granted UK patent.

Alison Gale

Alison joined Innovate in 2013 as New Product Development Advisor, working with clients introducing their product or idea to the market. This role involves helping clients identify the most relevant companies and organisations to approach with regard to a licensing or retailing agreement, and advising on making the initial approach. With a Business Studies degree and post-graduate qualifications in both Marketing and Purchasing, Alison has a deep understanding of the motivations and requirements of companies when looking at and deciding on new products. Alison has spent over ten years in Marketing and Product Development roles with a range of major blue-chip organisations as well as the invaluable experience of establishing and managing a mail order retail business, where she headed up all buying and marketing activity.
Having three boys under the age of 11, Alison seems to spend her time outside work drawing Superheroes, searching for lost Lego or watching Star Trek.

Gareth Czaja

Gareth joined Innovate in August 2013 after gaining an HND in Nuclear and Astro-Physics from Surrey University and then graduating with a BA (Hons) in Theology from Leeds University. Gareth’s role at Innovate is to research clients concepts to check for prior art, ensuring that before taking projects further there are not any infringement issues relating to previous products.
After recently moving back to the area, Gareth is actively organising his social life. He has started a poker circle, is learning Italian and is a regular member of a small Church group and the gym. An avid reader, to unwind he enjoys sitting down with a good book and is currently ‘hooked’ on reading fantasy genre books and waiting for the next Patrick Rothfuss book, when he publishes it!


Pam Clover

Pam joined in 2009 and handles all of the PR and Marketing for Innovate. She also follows up with clients once they have launched their product to find out about the journey they made whilst developing their idea, and any tips and hints they have to offer to anyone thinking about embarking on that process. “My favourite part of the job is receiving samples our clients send us of their product on the market, we proudly display these in our meeting rooms. There is nothing more exciting than seeing the actual idea working in all its glory together with its branding and packaging.”


Joely Brown

Joely joined innovate in 2008 and has since completed a Modern Apprenticeship in Business Administration and the IAB Certificate in Book-keeping. Joely’s role varies from day to day with her duties including invoicing, general administration as well as offering initial advice to clients over the phone. Outside of her role at Innovate Joely spends her time with her two horses or walking her dog.

Amber Salmon

Amber is our receptionist and is the first point of contact for all of our clients, be it giving initial advice over the phone or welcoming clients coming in for meetings. She helps with the preparation of client information and reports and is responsible for the input, to our database, of all the fantastic ideas we receive. She also helps the Innovate office run smoothly and makes a mean cup of tea!

You might also be interested in...

About Innovate Design Case studies

© Innovate Design 2011 | Meet the team at Innovate Design - Research, Design, Prototype, Engineer