You can win Nobel prizes for physics, chemistry, and medicine, but technology? No. There is, however the Millennium Technology Prize. This is the world’s largest technology prize. It is rewarded ever two years for a technological innovation that significantly improves the quality of human life, today and in the future. This year, Linus Torvalds, Linux’s creator, and Dr. Shinya Yamanaka, maker of a new way to create stem cells without the use of embryonic stem cells, have both been rewarded the 2012 Millennium Technology Prize.
This prize, which is determined by the Technology Academy of Finland, is one of the world’s largest such prizes with candidates sought from across the world and from all fields of technology. The two innovators will share over a million Euros. They will receive the reward from the President of the Republic of Finland in a special ceremony on June 13, 2012.
Previous winners include Professor Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the Web; Professor Robert Langer for his invention and development of innovative biomaterials for controlled drug release and tissue regeneration; and Professor Michael Gratzel for his innovative developments in dye-sensitized solar cells.