For European companies, knowledge already is the crucial resource to obtain competitive advantages and to ensure future business success. A company's 'Intellectual Capital (IC) comprises all intangible assets that the company uses to develop, produce and sell its particular products and services, i.e. the staff's qualification and motivation, leadership and management structures, organisational capacities and knowledge transfer as wefl as relations to the market.

InCaS, led by CEA-PME, was a business project that addressed this issue and went towards filling the gap. A project within FP6 - the European Union's Sixth Framework Programme for RTD, its aim was to provide the knowledge management tools and techniques that enable SMEs to detect their intellectual capital, to communicate it (via an intellectual capital statement: ICS) and to implement measures that promote its improvement systematically.

Target groups of InCaS were SMEs in five European Countries that depend decisively on their intellectual capital to ensure success, i.e. that are based on so called knowledge-intensive business models. The national associations of SMEs in these countries (IAGs) also participated in InCaS, with a target for 50,000 EU SME’s to be using InCaS knowledge tools and techniques by the end of the project dissemination phase (Dec 2008).

The InCas RTD Performers were conducting field research and developing techniques to strengthen the competitiveness of SMEs, deveveloping and communicating knowledge abot IC in SMEs, monitoring critical success factors systematically and rearching and developing ways to strengthen SME strategic core competencies, decreasing operational and strategic risks, thus providing a suitable basis for strategic decisions and organisational development.

InCaS aimed to develop a way of being able to understand, value and represent Intellectual Capital for the benefit of companies internally but also to outside groups such as the financial community for further and better exploitation. Thanks to the support of CEA-PME and its members, the project found 25 SMEs that agreed to pilot the method it proposed.

The companies have given highly positive feedback and responded with enthusiasm, as they could see the potential of improving their performance. There have been a rich set of human stories that show how InCaS can be applicable to other companies more widely in the European economy.

Form more information about the method and its results, you can see this in the video about the InCaS Case Sudy about the Engineering Business Unit of Sidasa, a Spanish SME.

InCaS was co-funded under the European Union's Collective Research Scheme.

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