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According to the old adage, British people are good at inventing things but useless at exploiting them. Hence, since the early 1970s, numerous companies have been set up to enable the exploitation of university inventions in the hope of staving off international competition in both traditional and new markets. Some of these companies have been remarkably successful but many have failed or struggled to survive. The author examines whether a different approach have led to a greater number of success stories.