Recognising innovation with a human face
The Millennium Technology Prize is awarded every second year for a technological innovation that significantly improves the quality of human life. The prize is awarded by Technology Academy Finland (TAF), an independent foundation established by Finnish industry, in partnership with the Finnish state. In addition to the bi-annual Millennium Technology Prize, TAF runs associated events such as the annual Millennium Youth Camp and promotes Finland as a high-tech country by participating in a variety of global networks.
The first Millennium Technology Prize was awarded in 2004 and went to Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web. He was followed, in 2006, by Professor Shuji Nakamura, the inventor of bright blue, green, and white LEDs, and a blue laser. Professor Robert Langer won the Grand Prize in 2008 for his innovative work in controlled drug release and for developing innovative biomaterials for use in tissue regeneration; while the fourth Grand Prize went to Professor Michael Grätzel in 2010 for his innovative work on dye-sensitised solar cells.