Computer-generated thrills and spills are a key ingredient in all action-packed movies replicating events that would be impossible, or prohibitively expensive, to stage in real life. But, according to James Liu Juh, they are also part of the huge growth in information technology that is creating a second industrial revolution and developing Hong Kong's technology edge. Mr Liu, chief executive of Hong Hong Industrial Technology Centre Corporation (HKITCC) and a judge in this year's technological achieve ment section, said the Awards for Industry played a central role in both these aims. 'I think they provide a catalyst, a stimulant, for investment in technology and also raise the level of interest in technology. Hong Kong's future lies in developing information- and knowledge-based technology. This new economy is replacing the old manufacturing and agricultural-based ones,' he said. 'Hong Kong's strength is that it is an ideal location to develop a knowledge-based technology industry. In this service, Hong Kong is ahead of Taiwan and Singapore.' He pointed to Centro Digital Pic tures, one of this year's winners, which develops information systems used to generate computer graphics, including those in the movie industry. 'The firm doesn't produce a product, but technology that is used as a tool to develop products,' Mr Liu said. By comparison, he referred to Motorola Semiconductors, the overall winner for technological achievement, which won for work associated with its video display mobile telephone. 'Motorola's Hong Kong research and development team played an important role in product development and showed it was capable of working with an international team. This is significant in today's environment,' Mr Liu said. This year's competition attracted 31 entries split between four categories - multi-media, telecoms, software and micro-electronics. 'We are very happy to see 31 entries and maintain the same level of interest given the economic downturn,' he said. Mr Liu, though, sees a dramatic increase in interest in subsequent competitions, partly through the efforts of the HKITCC which offers fledgling companies discounted office space in its Kowloon Tong 'in cubation centre'. 'Competition will become more fierce. In our incubation unit, we already have 70 companies. We are helping to produce 20-30 more each year,' he said. HKITCC also offers established companies tenant space. Most of the entries were from small and medium-sized enterprises, a situation which reflected the innovative and cutting-edge technology nature of the information technology industry. Mr Liu said the judges focused on the research and development effort and financial viability of each of the entries rather than the total revenue which had been generated.