ORGANISERS of the Hong Kong Awards for Industry rely on sponsors to fund the lion's share of costs of the annual scheme. Of the $4.1 million collected for this year's seventh-annual event, $3.3 million came from sponsors and $800,000 came from the Government. Denise Yue, the Government's director-general of industry and chairman of the organising committee, said sponsors play a crucial role in the scheme. 'We want the bulk of the funds to be raised from sponsors because we think the success of the scheme can be measured by the participation of the community,' Ms Yue said. Community involvement can be measured by the number and quality of companies who enter the scheme, the involvement of organisers and the number of sponsors. Representatives from 19 sponsoring companies plus one private sponsor gathered yesterday at the Hong Kong Renaissance Hotel for a cheque presentation ceremony. The sponsors each donated $100,000 or $200,000 to the awards scheme. Sixteen had been sponsors in previous years, while four donated for the first time. Previously called the Governor's Award for Industry, the scheme recognises excellence in the manufacturing industry and aims to stimulate progress. There were 141 corporate entries this year in the six categories, including consumer product design, machine and equipment design, productivity and environmental performance. The sponsors' money is used to organise and judge the six categories while the $800,000 from the Government goes towards publicity and organising details for the awards ceremonies. It is estimated that this year's scheme will run between $3.5 million and $4 million, so any funds left from the $4.1 million will be stashed away in case of a deficit year. Sponsors are not allowed to enter the awards to avoid potential conflicts of interest. But they get public recognition for their contributions during the annual cheque presentation ceremony. 'I believe they support the awards scheme largely because it helps the overall economic development of Hong Kong,' Ms Yue said. The ceremony gave organisers another forum to raise the profile and prominence of the awards. The name change, one of the changes to this year's event, was made because the scheme will continue after the territory reverts to Chinese rule in 1997. Another change is the time. The awards ceremony will be held on September 28, about two months earlier than previous years. This gave winning companies more time to publicise their status. Winners may carry the awards logo in publicity materials for three years. Many change their letterhead and business cards to include the fact that they won. Another possible change in categories may include the service industry.