It is widely recognized that knowledge‑based resources and assets are fundamental to performance improvement and organizational value creation. Limited progress has been made, however, in valuing and managing organizational knowledge in Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) operating in the renewable energy sector. This paper provides first insights of an ongoing research project managed by the Intellectual Assets Centre in Scotland, in order to support the adoption of knowledge asset management initiatives for driving the improvement of value creation mechanisms of SMEs operating in the renewable energy sector. We employ research related to resource‑based and knowledge‑based theory and performance measurement and management, to gain a better understanding of how Scottish SMEs operating in the renewable energy industry acquire and manage knowledge assets in their bid to improve performance and value creation. Using a sample of organizations from the Scottish renewable energy sector we draw first insights about their perception and orientation to identifying, measuring and managing knowledge, and to qualitatively identify a feasible set of knowledge resources and assets potentially driving performance improvement. The first evidence indicates an awareness of the relevance of the knowledge‑based factors, and engagement in knowledge acquisition and creation processes. These firms possess a good endowment of knowledge assets, with significant internal knowledge management processes, but also external inflows from agents such as firms and education or research institutions. However, the visible lag in the exploitation of knowledge assets and processes, together with observed under‑financing of the sector and difficulty in accessing skilled labor, indicates the need for efforts to better address specific needs of renewable energy sector SMEs.
Keywords: renewable energy, renewables, intellectual capital, knowledge asset management, Scotland, SMEs