In the last few years, there has been an increase in interest of European policymakers in promoting SMEs, assigning a key strategic role to networks as a means of improving levels of innovation and internationalization in SMEs. This led the Italian parliament to introduce legislation - with Law 33/2009 - for network agreements, which are a form of strategic alliances, largely used for intangible purposes. The aim of this work is to do an explorative study in order to ascertain to what extent the use of network agreements has contributed to increasing intangible resources in Italian firms and whether there is a correlation between the creation of intangibles and value creation in terms of improved financial performance of firms. From the analysis emerged that network agreements have a positive effect on the ability of Italian firms to create intangible resources, and there is a positive correlation between the increase in intangibles and value creation.
Keywords: Intangibles, Value creation, Network agreements, strategic alliances.