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About Us


ideas21, now in its 13th year, provides information and resources to innovators, both corporate and individual.  Supported by government and industry, we specialise in the field of intellectual property and the successful commercialisation of innovators ideas.  We offer workshops, seminars and free "one-to-one" advice sessions in London, Birmingham and Bristol.  Our advisors are industry professionals with experience ranging from protection of your idea, design and prototyping to licensing and manufacture.

Innovation is a major driving force of the global economy and because of this, ideas21 has both UK and overseas  members who bring with them a huge variety of  experience from diverse backgrounds and cultures.
We have grown from the commitment and passion of many successful inventors, business and intellectual property professionals.  They have dedicated their time to help guide would-be inventors and innovators through the complex process of turning an idea into a commercial success.  ideas21 is regularly consulted by the UK government concerning policy on intellectual property and innovation.


Our Patrons

Adam Hart-Davis

Adam is a freelance writer, photographer, and broadcaster on radio and television with a particular interest in innovation and technology.  His series include Local Heroes, What the Ancients/Romans/Tudors & Stuarts/Victorians did for us, Inventors Imperfect, and Eureka years. Adam has been our Patron and an active supporter of ideas21 for many years.
To find out more about Adam visit

Deborah Jaffé

Deborah studied art and design at Dartington College of Arts and the London College of Furniture before gaining her MA from the Royal College of Art.  Her varied career has included work in the toy, educational and fashion industries, the visual arts and photography as well as research as a design historian.

She is the author if eight books including "What's Left of Henry VIII", "Victoria - A Celebration", "Ingenious Women" and "The History of Toys".  Deborah is a member of the committee of the Victoria & Albert Museum of Childhood.  From 2005-2009 she was on the executive committee of the Plastics Historic al Society.

Following the publication of "Ingenious Women" in 2003, she became a patron of ideas21 and frequently speaks in Britain and Europe on women and innovation.
To find out more about Deborah visit

Our Advisory Team Panel

Matt Dixon

Matt is a British and European Patent Attorney and is a partner in the London office of Harrison Goddard Foote. He advises many small and medium sized businesses on the protection of their intellectual property, particularly in the electronics, telecommunications and software fields, and is a Council member of the Chartered Institute Patent Attorneys.
Matt regularly takes our free innovation clinics and gives presentations on intellectual property protection.

Richard Gallafent

Richard is a Patent and Trademark Attorney as senior partner in a private practice in London. His clientèle ranges from individuals to multinationals and his practice covers the full spectrum of Intellectual Property Rights and their commercialisation. Richard is a Past President of the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys, sits on various UK-IPO committees.  He was a member of the Intellectual Property Advisory Committee and a co-author of Intellectual Property Law and Tax.  Richard is a regular advisor at the advice sessions organised by ideas21 at the British Library Business & IP Centre.

Linda Oakley, MBE

Linda has spent many years researching the problems of bringing an idea to market. Her drive and vision converted low-key friendly gatherings and her informal network of contacts into ideas21 in 2000.  She is Chair of Women Invention and Innovation,  which organises free advice sessions to support today's women inventors to help them turn their ideas into a business, formed in 2004.  In 2006 she instigated The Innovation Support Network,  a diverse group of public and private sector organisations, all of which are involved in providing support and assistance to innovative British companies and individuals.

Linda is regularly asked to write articles, book reviews and book chapters on innovation and intellectual property.  Linda’s and ideas21 philosophy is that information given for free is valuable; the more that  inventors can learn at the early stages regarding which direction to take,  the less the  likelihood of time and money being wasted and the greater the chances of success.

Mark Sheahan

Mark specialises in plastic easy-open, tamper-evident, child-resistant dispensing closures for the packaging industry. He has not only designed, developed, patented and sold products but has also had his inventions taken up by major packaging producers, via licensing agreements, in the UK, USA and recently Japan.
Mark is President of the Institute of Patentees and Inventors, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Vice Chairman of the CRTI and the first 'Inventor in Residence' for the British Library.  He also co-writes a monthly column for the Institute of Engineering and Technology Magazine, called 'Inventor' Inbox'.