Conference on the role of Intellectual Capital in strengthening SME performance

Speaker presentations:

Prof. Dr. Peter Pawlowsky
Mart Kivikas

Photos of the Conference:

Photogallery on the LuxIC Facebookpage

Paperjam articles:

Cette valeur non tangible, le capital intellectuel
Mieux manager le capital humain et intellectuel

Conference report:

Show/download pdf

How Luxembourg could help its SMEs improve their performances and competitiveness through the management of their Intellectual Capital.


The conference took place

on 17 March 2014, from 17.45-20:15

at the

Chambre de Commerce du Grand-Duché de Luxembourg, 7 rue Alcide de Gasperi, Luxembourg (Kirchberg) followed by drinks. Parking available
Speakers & presentations

Personal views on how to strengthen SME competitiveness in Luxembourg will be the subject of 25’ presentations by two speakers:

  • Prof. Dr. Peter Pawlowsky, Chemnitz University of Technology – Institute for Personnel Management and Leadership studies, an often consulted expert for the German Ministry of Economy on performance management, and author of a study on How High Performance Companies manage their Intellectual Capital, a representative survey with SMEs. The study underscored the importance of the link between IC management and high performance.
  • Mart Kivikas, CEO of Wissenskapital ZFI/ECI GmbH and a co-developer of the Wissensbilanz methodology for identifying and managing intangibles. Benefits of using Wissensbilanz methodologies, as proven by more than hundred practicing SMEs, are more efficient internal processes and better external communication. Mart is also a co-developer of the derived ECI (Earnings Capability Index) , a tool to better understand which management actions can improve performance over time, based on observation of tangible and intangible elements in the short, medium and long term.

The subjects that will be developed are:

  • High Performance Companies and Intellectual Capital Management
  • IC and IP issues for SMEs in Europe.
Significant importance of Intellectual capital management and human resources in high performance companies:

What distinguishes the most competitive SME’s (sales market; business situation) with a very good monetary performance (profit; turnover; return on investment and market share) from SME with a poor corporate performance? What can the less economic successful firms learn from the top performers?

A key finding of the study is that the most successful SME’s in the German economy are applying integrative knowledge-/intellectual capital management to a significant greater extent. The implementation of employee-oriented activities for knowledge identification represent the largest differences between high and low performers. The essential role of employees for business success is further recognized through the strategic human resource management activities which are significantly more elaborated in high performance companies.

Conclusion: The representative research findings confirm that strategic Knowledge- and Intellectual Capital Management is closely connected with a stronger competitive position – regardless of industry sector and business size.

IC and IP issues for SMEs

Europe is still world leader when it comes to innovation and top quality services and products. One important reason behind this is visualized through the IC Statement. However, these assets need investments and the outcome should be protected and equitably distributed between entrepreneurs, society and investors.

Today the investors clearly have the upper hand in a way, where it is not clear if this is good for the European citizens or for Europe’s future. Therefore Europe needs to lead the discussion on IC and IP because Europe is the biggest winner (or loser) in this area. Financial capital does not make the difference, because it is global and not unique. Thanks to the Lisbon agenda these matters where taken seriously and a lot has been achieved.

Conclusion: Regional and State authorities should encourage and facilitate (1) the use of IC methodologies and IC statement by SMEs, leading to innovation and (2) the protection of innovation (IP) generated by them. They further should make sure that (3) a proper balance is struck in the distribution of gains among entrepreneurs (industrial risk takers), the companies (those working for it) and financial investors.

Discussion Panel:

The presentations will be debated by a panel consisting of:

Michèle Detaille CEO No-Nail Boxes, Board Member of Université Catholique de Louvain
Yves Elsen CEO Hitec, President Association luxembourgeoise des Ingénieurs (ALI)
Mario Grotz Director General Research, Innovation and Intellectual Property at Ministry of Economy and Foreign Trade
Raoul Mulheims CEO, Co-founder Digicash, Co-founder nVision and mPulse
Dan Schneider Partner, Tenzing Partners, A corporate Finance Boutique part of the Globalscope network

The panel will be moderated by Jean-Eric Aubert, Senior Consultant for International Organisations:

International expert in innovation policies and in development strategies, Jean-Eric Aubert has worked for ten years (2000-2009) at the World Bank Institute, promoting knowledge economy work. Prior to joining the World Bank, Jean-Eric Aubert has worked at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (1973-2000), where he has notably been in charge of science and innovation policy reviews and outlooks. He has also intervened as high-level expert for the European Commission and UN agencies. Throughout his career, Jean-Eric Aubert has operated as policy evaluator and advisor in more than 40 countries of all development levels. He is the author or director of some 50 international publications and books. A French national, Jean-Eric Aubert holds post-graduate diplomas in economics and applied mathematics from Paris universities.

17:45 Opening
18:00 Welcome Address by Carlo Thelen (dir CC)
18:10 Prof.-Dr. Peter Pawlowsky
18:35 Mart Kivikas
19:00 Panel, Moderation by Jean-Eric Aubert
19:45 Questions and Answers
20:05 Conclusions from the Moderator, LuxIC and ALAF
20:15 Drinks
Main sponsors :



(Association Luxembourgeoise des Amis de la Fondation Louvain) is the Luxembourg offshoot of the Fondation Louvain (FL). The Fondation Louvain was created in 1999 to be the recipient of donations and legacies, for the development of the University of Louvain and its research programmes, under the shape of chairs, enterprise-university partnerships, scholarships and prizes. ALAF collects funds distributes prizes and scholarships and organizes chairs that are to the benefit both of Luxembourg and of the Louvain University.

Chamber of Commerce



The Chamber of Commerce of Luxembourg hosts the conference and is taking care of the logistics and catering.

Other Sponsors:

Edge SA


Edge is a Luxembourg consultancy. Its present activities are mainly in the field of coordinating lenders to a mining project in Sahelian Africa and in preparing participation in projects for the new R&D programme of the EC.

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