A non-physical asset of an organization
Intangible assets include human and knowledge assets, reputation of the organization, its intellectual property, copyrights, patents, business processes, culture and trade marks. Intangible assets are critical to all nuclear organisations. For some organisations, like R&D organizations and educational organizations, most of their assets are intangible, and for NPP operating organisations investments in intangible assets is required to keep the plant operating safely and economically. Intangible assets are managed via organisation's asset management.
International Accounting Standards Board standard 38 (IAS 38) defines intangible asset as non-monetary asset which does not have a clear physical substance but can still be identified . As depicted in Fig 1, intangible assets include human and knowledge assets. In addition, the reputation of the organization, its intellectual property, copyrights, patents, business processes, culture and trade marks are part of its intangible assets.
Intangible assets do not define organization's current market value in the same way as tangible assets. However, for organisations where e.g. knowledge, human resources or business processes define its success, intangible assets can be critical to organization's long-term success or failure and define its future value.
Intangible assets are critical to nuclear organizations in several ways. R&D organizations and educational organizations typically have little tangible assets and their main results are produced by knowledge workers and quality business processes. For operating organisations, the power plant itself and the related infrastructure is major tangible asset. AFter making such an investment, the organisations needs to be able to draw benefits from the investment in long term. To keep the plant operating safely and economically requires qualified staff and processes and thus investment in intangible assets.
Management of intangible assets
Intangible assets are managed as part of an organisation's asset management. In addition, International Accounting Standards Board standard 38 (IAS 38) outlines the accounting requirements for intangible assets .
Management areas involved with intangible assets include