04 February 2007

Sheffield Inventors Club: Eric Redfern "An Inventor's Alternative Route to Market"

In the first few pages of their excellent book "The Business of Invention" , Peter Bissell and Graham Barker set out some bleak statistics. Most bright ideas fail to get off the drawing board. The vast bulk of the patents registered in the UK Patent Office are never worked. Of the very few inventions that are made, only a fraction cover their costs. Out of that tiny residue only a very small number actually make any money for their inventor.

Finding a successful inventor is therefore as rare as finding a four leaf clover or an NHS dentist. There are a few spectacularly successful American ones like Jerome Lemelson but hardly any British ones. One of the few British inventors who can be described as successful is Eric Redfern. Eric is one of the most prolific inventors I have ever come across. He has come up with earth leak devices, a hands free dryer, a date rape analyser, balloon vending machine and much, much more.

Eric thinks big but he is very practical. When he has a bright idea he approaches the big boys like major firms of accountants and solicitors for introductions to clients who are likely to help him. He gets them to work on a contingency basis. He also keeps his friends as he does not look to them to invest in his projects.

I first heard Eric at Manchester Inventors' Club in October and was so impressed that I choked him for the Leeds and Liverpool Clubs where he was equally well received. Now he is coming to Sheffield Inventors' Club at Central Library, Surrey Street on 5 Feb 2006 at 18:00. Do come along to hear him. You have a real treat in store.