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Nominations open for $1.3 million Millennium Technology Prize

Last winner: Linus Torvalds

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After handing a gong to Linux superhero Linus Torvalds last summer, the organisers of the Millennium Technology Prize have opened nominations for the 2014 prize.

Run by Technology Academy Finland once every two years, the competition is awarded to the innovator who has “changed or has a potential to change people’s lives for the better.”

As well as having some prestigious winners in the past – Torvalds shared the 2012 prize with Japanese stem cell researcher Shinya Yamanaka – it helps that winners get their hands on a €1 million (£850,000/$1.3 million) prize pot that beats even the Nobel Prize for value.

Previous winners have included Sir Tim Berner’s Lee in 2004, the first year the prize was awarded in its current form.

“As long as science prizes are rigorous and judged by scientific experts, they can indeed stimulate innovation by attracting funding and public interest,” said  Technology Academy Finland CEO, Dr Ainomaija Haarla.

“Since the Millennium Technology Prize was founded eleven years ago it has celebrated the role of gifted innovators whocontribute to the improvement of people's living conditions.”

Nominations need to be submitted by July 31, 2013, with the winner being announced at a ceremony in Helsinki in June next year. A video on the process can be viewed on the organisation's website.

Candidates can't nominate themselves; entries have to be made by bona fide research institutes or universities.Other criteria include that entrants must continue development of their creations that must also in some way promote sustainable development.

Berners-Lee created the underlying protocol of the world wide web; Torvalds the most influential operating system in human history, no matter what Richard Stallman thinks. The Technology Academy Finland has set the bar high enough we feel.



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