While we are moving quickly towards a knowledge-based economy, the importance of intangible resources for the development and growth of companies, markets and territories is becoming more and more central. According to estimates, between 60% and 80% of corporate value in financial markets is nowadays amenable to intangibles. And yet the pervasiveness, transversality and elusiveness of these resources make it difficult to manage and measure them in a coherent and holistic way at organizational, meso and macro level. Until ten years ago, the European Union was at the international forefront of this area with innovative studies, proposals and policies also in terms of metrics and information on intangibles. However, over the last few years the level of attention seems to have declined, not least because of the major financial and, later, real economy crisis, meanwhile policy-makers have often neglected this area or addressed it with a piecemeal and scattered approach (R&D, innovation, patents, training, skills, brands, culture, social cohesion, etc.). This International Conference aims to “rediscover” the centrality of intangibles, their measurement and the information thereon for an equilibrated and long term growth of European companies, financial markets and territories, and hence to relaunch at policy level the crucial issues linked to these “special” resources for the management and drive of a knowledge-rooted, digital, and cohesive global economy.
Intangibles: the European state of the art