Millennium Technology Prize

Millennium Technology Prize
The Millennium Technology Prize
Awarded for Life-enhancing technological innovation
Presented by Technology Academy Finland
Country Finland
First awarded 2004
Official website

The Millennium Technology Prize (Finnish: Millennium-teknologiapalkinto) is the largest technology prize in the world.[1] It is awarded once every two years by Technology Academy Finland, an independent fund established by Finnish industry and the Finnish state in partnership. The prize is presented by the President of Finland. It is awarded in recognition of technological innovations that contribute to the improved quality of human life and encourage sustainable development. The prize was inaugurated in 2004.[1]


The Prize

The Prize celebrates innovations that have a favourable impact on quality of life and well-being or on sustainable development. It has been established to steer the course of technological development to a more humane direction. The objective of the Millennium Technology Prize is to highlight technical development that has a humanitarian focus, to make the work of researchers and application builders in different sectors better known, and to encourage discussion and debate between researchers, companies, and national and communal decision makers.

The Millennium Prize is awarded by Technology Academy Finland (formerly Millennium Prize Foundation and Finnish Technology Award Foundation), established in 2002 by eight Finnish organisations supporting technological development and innovation. The prize pool for the prize is about 1.1 million euros (~US$ 1.3 million) which is divided between the winner and other laureates. The main prize sum of 800,000 euros (~US$ 1 million). The Millennium Technology Prize is awarded every second year and is presented by the president of Finland. The Millennium Technology Prize is the world's largest technology award.[1] The predecessor to the Millennium Prize was the Walter Ahlström prize.

Compared to the Nobel Prize the Millennium Prize is a technology award, whereas the Nobel Prize is a science award. Furthermore, the Nobel Prize is awarded for basic research, but the Millennium Prize may be given to a recently conceived innovation which is still being developed.

Universities, research institutes, national scientific and engineering academies and high-tech companies around the world are eligible to nominate individuals or groups for the award. In accordance with the rules of the Technology Academy Finland, a proposal concerning the winner of the Millennium Technology Prize is made to the board of the foundation by the eight-member international selection committee, and the final decision on the prize winner is made by the board.

International Selection Committee 2009–2010


Year Inventor Nationality Invention Notes
2004 Tim Berners-Lee  United Kingdom World Wide Web Inventor of the World Wide Web from United Kingdom, was announced on April 15, 2004 as the first laureate of the award. The Prize was presented to Berners-Lee at a ceremony in the Finlandia Hall in Helsinki by the President of Finland, Tarja Halonen on June 15, 2004. Selection committee studied 78 nominations from 22 countries for the 2004 prize.
2006 Shuji Nakamura  Japan (born)
 United States (citizen)
Blue and white LEDs Inventor of high brightness blue and white LEDs used in lighting, computer displays and new-generation DVDs, from California, United States, was announced on June 15, 2006 as the second laureate of the award. The Prize was presented to Nakamura at a ceremony in the Helsinki Fair Centre in Helsinki by the President of Finland Tarja Halonen on September 8, 2006. Selection committee studied 109 nominations from 32 countries for the 2006 prize.
2008 Robert Langer  United States Innovative biomaterials Inventor of controlled drug release from the United States, was announced on June 11, 2008 as the third laureate of the award. The prize 800,000 euros was presented to Langer at a ceremony in Helsinki by the President of Finland Tarja Halonen “for his invention and development of innovative biomaterials for controlled drug release and tissue regeneration that have significantly improved human health.” The other 2008 Millennium Laureates, Alec Jeffreys and Andrew Viterbi and the group of Emmanuel Desurvire, Randy Giles and David N. Payne, were each awarded prizes of 115,000 euros.[2]
2010 Michael Grätzel  Switzerland Dye-sensitized solar cells Inventor of third generation dye-sensitized solar cells. The president of Finland Tarja Halonen handed the 800,000 euros Grand Prize and the prize trophy "Peak" to Grätzel at the Grand Award Ceremony at the Finnish National Opera in Helsinki on 9 June 2010. The two other 2010 Millennium Laureates, Richard Friend and Stephen Furber, were each awarded prizes of 150,000 euros.[3]

See also




External links

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