For the middle-aged organisers there was something both exciting and slightly intimidating about the weekend awards to winners of the Business Services Promotion Unit-SCMP Web Site Design Competition. In all, 1,664 young people working in teams submitted 393 entries. Apart from the higher than expected numbers, the quality of the entries was of a very high level, attracting immediate interest from government officials who attended the awards ceremony. What was somewhat intimidating for those who grew up before the computer generation was the youth of many entrants. But this should be an encouragement for those who rightly see Hong Kong's future as intimately linked with its progress in the most modern technology. Competition in this field is intense. The right infrastructure is obviously necessary even if views differ as to what is 'right' in a world where programmers can work from home through the night as easily as in an office during the day. But what the awards underlined is that the fundamental element in forging a high-technology future is human creativity. That is why it is so important for the Government to provide the equipment, training and encouragement needed to bring about the growth of a software industry here. But, while vital, that is not enough in itself. There also has to be an effective bridge between the imagination of the Web site inventors and the wider world of industry and commerce. After all, the industry's icon, Bill Gates, may be caricatured as a nerd, but he has made his fortune and that of his company by relating Microsoft's technology to the mushrooming world of office systems and personal computers. As an international service and trading city, with a large core of corporate expertise, Hong Kong should be a natural breeding ground for both inventors and the managers of the applied systems of tomorrow. The entrants to the Web Site Design Competition showed the depth of local talent on the first score. By coming up with the idea of the competition and organising it, the Business Services Promotion Unit showed that it recognises a major priority area when it sees one. Now the rest of the administration and the business community must make sure that the right environment is created to enable Hong Kong to develop a major advantage for the coming century.