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Issue Date: August 2001

2001 Technology Top 100 Awards - call for design technology entries

1 August 2001

In today's cutthroat business environment technology has been sold as the panacea to all business ills, the route to instant profits. Why then do two similar companies that implement the same technology solution experience differing fortunes?
"It is what the companies do with the technology, not what technology does for them, that is the issue," says Errol Ashwell, Managing Director of Autodesk Africa. Autodesk, the world's leading global design resource, is renowned for moving design from the drawing board to the PC with the introduction of its AutoCAD computer-aided design (CAD) software 15 years ago.
"One company, for example, buys a powerful CAD program simply to do 2D drafting. Another, which buys the same software, pushes the envelope. It designs in 3D, accesses a library of standard parts, uses the software's Internet capability. By maximising the functionality of the software, company two cuts design time dramatically, slashing its time to market and snatching the lead from the rest of the market.
"This may be an example specific to design technology," says Ashwell, "but I believe the same principle applies to other technologies."
Ashwell says those companies that have wrung maximum business benefits from their technology solutions will be recognised at this year's Technology Top 100 programme.
A joint Department of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology and Department of Trade and Industries (DTI) initiative, Technology Top 100 annually recognises those companies that exploit technology to benefit South African business. Recognising the impact of design technology, Technology Top 100 last year introduced a new category - Design Technology - to its programme.
Sponsored by Autodesk, there are two awards - one for the manufacturing sector and another for the built environment. The awards are presented to the companies that are judged to have made the most effective use of CAD technology to promote innovation, design excellence and competitive advantage - for themselves and for South Africa.
Entrants must demonstrate that the successful implementation and use of CAD technology has led to at least four of the following: South African innovation, design excellence, competitive advantage, the creation of South African intellectual property value, increased productivity, reduced costs, increased quality and export opportunities for products or services.
Entries are invited for the Technology Top 100 awards, with electronic entry forms available on the DTI website ( or from the Engineering Association - e-mail Further information about the Autodesk Award is available from Autodesk at (011) 318 2900 or
The winner of the first Autodesk Award in the built environment was SRK Consulting Engineers and Scientists. Mechanical design consultant, MS Hunt Consultants, received the award in the manufacturing sector.

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