X-ray analysis is arguably the most powerful, non-destructive tool for investigating materials and doing medical diagnostics. Current lab X-ray sources are commonly based on X-ray tubes, which are limited in brilliance and provide a fixed, broadband X-ray spectrum. For this reason advanced X-ray imaging methods such as K-edge subtraction imaging, phase contrast imaging, coherent diffractive imaging and holography are almost exclusively the terrain of large synchrotron facilities. The availability of the few synchrotrons around is unfortunately very limited in terms of beam time and general accessibility. We are developing a compact and affordable alternative to synchrotron light sources based on Inverse Compton Scattering (ICS) of intense laser light. The principle of an ICS-based X-ray source is not new but the enabling laser technology and X-band accelerator technology have only recently reached the stage that such a source can provide X-ray brilliances presently only available at synchrotrons. Combined with a development programme to advance the X-ray detection technologies even further this will enable the use of advanced X-ray imaging techniques in university labs, museums, industry and hospitals.