Smart Public Intangibles (SPINTAN)

Client/Funding Institution

European Commission, 7th Framework Programme


The SPINTAN project extends both the theoretical and the empirical approach introduced by Corrado, Hulten and Sichel (2005, 2009) including the Public Sector intangibles in their analytical framework in different complementary directions. The main outcomes were: (1) A Public Sector Intangibles Database for a wide set of European Union (EU) countries, supplemented by some large non EU countries complementing the harmonised intangible measures developed by INTAN Invest. (2) Analysis of the key issues with regard to the boundaries of public intangibles between various public and private categories, such as R&D, skill formation and IT investment. New ways to measure Public Sector intangible capital services, and especially the rate of return on public intangibles, were developed. (3) Analysis of the impact of Public Sector intangibles on innovation, well being and "smart" growth. The project paid special attention to the consequences of austerity policies, i.e. the project measures the impact on intangible assets investment of the austerity policies after the crisis and quantifies its impact on growth and well being. The SPINTAN Project was carried out by 12 European partners and two non European Associated Members that joined in the first months of the project. wiiw was involved in the methodological and conceptual work to identify the relevant assets and has provided data for the new Member States and Austria to produce the envisaged cross-country harmonised database of public sector intangibles. It also contributed to the work on spillovers from intangibles and on austerity & recovery, focusing on the effects of government spending in an international input-output framework.


December 2013 - November 2016


wiiw team Leader

Robert Stehrer

wiiw Staff

Alexandra Bykova, Serkan Çiçek, Ronald Hartwig, Sebastian Leitner, Monika Schwarzhappel

Project Partners

Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas (IVIE, Coordinator), National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR), Libera Universita Internazionale degli Studi sociali Guido Carli (LUISS), Istituto nazionale di statistica (ISTAT), Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine (IC), The Conference Board Europe (TCB), Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW), Deutsches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung E.V. (DIW), Forum for Reforms, Entrepreneurship and Sustainability (FORES), Kopint-Tárki Economic Research Institute Ltd. (KOPINT)


SPINTAN database on intangibles in the Public sector (1995-2012) and Real Time data (2013-2015).

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Keywords: competitiveness, innovation, services

Countries covered: EU-28

Research Areas: International Trade, Competitiveness and FDI, Sectoral studies, Other