The Department of Trade and Industry is to carry out research to
determine the financial value to business of intangible assets, such as
brand and environmental and social impact.
John Orme, a director at Countrywide Porter Novelli seconded to the DTI
to help with the research, said: ’It is very much a communications
issue. The research will help PR people understand the biggest factors
affecting the ways in which companies are changing.’
Orme is one of 25 people seconded to the DTI’s ’innovation unit’ to work
on the research, known as the Maria (measuring and reporting intangible
assets) project. The DTI believes factors which determine a company’s
value are changing to include elements which cannot be explained on a
’Factors such as environmental impact, ethical and social impact, and
brand evaluation now determine corporate reputation,’ said Orme.
The department will survey companies from a wide variety of sectors,
including utility companies, engineering, manufacturing, banks, and
The DTI is hiring environmental, accountancy, brand evaluation and human
resources experts to work on the analysis.
The research is the result of a government competitiveness White Paper
on building the knowledge-driven economy, which was launched last
The work will include interviews with 50 companies in the UK, the US and
Scandinavia. The first results will be available in December.