Complaints that financial engineering and not technical innovation, as well as the dotcom phenomenon, were behind the high-technology sector's growth last year have been denied by the Government. Director-General for Trade and Industry Francis Ho Suen-wai said he did not agree with such critics. 'You can't limit the development in our IT sector in the last year to dotcoms alone,' he said. '[The Government's Applied Technology Fund] has, in fact, invested in very few dotcoms. 'The money has gone to software developers, e-commerce companies, and developers of broadband and voice recognition technology, among others.' Last month, the Government said less than one-third of the HK$750 million Applied Research Fund had been invested. 'There has been significant growth in the flow of deals made over the past 12 months,' Mr Ho said. He said the fund was seeking long-term investments which could contribute to technological development in the SAR. The Internet frenzy earlier in the year had stimulated entrepreneurship in the IT sector, Mr Ho said. This left the sector with a sound foundation on which to develop, he said, noting privately held software developer Lecco Technology as evidence of its success in nurturing innovation.