Innovation is a key driver of Europe's competitiveness and growth. However, young and innovative SMEs face bottlenecks when trying to grow. They are disadvantaged when it comes to attracting external financing if they cannot find equity since they do not usually have the track-record or collateral often required by financial intermediaries and banks. In today’s competitive markets, the use and protection of these intellectual assets is therefore one of the key determinants of success and failure.
Firms therefore need to manage these assets more actively to identify additional ways of extracting value from them. The entrepreneurs do not always understand the commercial value of Intellectual assets fo their enterprise, they do not establish proper valutation by professionals and often do not understand the requirements for proper accounting and balance sheet treatment. On the other side, even if investors acknowledge the importance of IP strategy in ensuring a company’s survival and success, for many of them it comes well down on the list of factors they screen in their due diligence process. At the same time, must be underlined that exploiting home-grown IP is a key to achieve the Lisbon goals of employment and growth based on innovation and entrepreneurship.
While much has been done to investigate how tangible assets can leverage debt and equity instruments and improve raising finance for SMEs, the question on how Intellectual Assets, particularly Intellectual Property, can be used as an asset to secure finance remains somewhat neglected.
Against this backdrop, the EVLIA PROJECT – Making full value of good ideas by leveraging intellectual assets for financing SMEs in South East Europe, (SEE PROGRAMME –www.programmesee.eu), develops a dedicated methodology for the financial and economical evaluation of Intangible Assets of SMEs in strict agreement with financial stakeholders and intermediaries
Main topics of the project are:
- Intellectual Assets and IP valutation as a basis for raising finance and the experience of companies and financial institution on this field
- investigate the role of IP and IA securisation and their impact on innovative SMEs when trying to access to financial markets
- the development of a standardize methodology aiming at evaluation intangible assets from the financial and economical point of view and its application at national and local level according to specific and peculiar needs assessed.
- the elaboration of a new role of financial players, such as venture capitalists, business angels, banks and credit rating agencies when assessing IA and particularly IP
-the development of local networks composed by stakeholders, BIOs and financial intermediaries in charge to test firstly the new methodology of evaluation and then develop new local plans for continue and strenghten the IA evaluation
- the strict connection with public policy makers (particularly NPOs) in seeking to alleviate the problem.