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Press Releases, 4/15/2004

Berners-Lee Wins Inaugural Millennium Technology Prize

Tim Berners-LeeWorld Wide Web Inventor Receives One Million Euros Prize from Finnish Technology Award Foundation

World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee was today named recipient of the first-ever Millennium Technology Prize. The honour, which is accompanied by one million euros, is bestowed by the Finnish Technology Award Foundation as international acknowledgement for an outstanding technological innovation that directly promotes people's quality of life, is based on humane values, and encourages sustainable economic development.

"The Web has significantly enhanced many people's ability to obtain information central to their lives", says Pekka Tarjanne, former Secretary General of the International Telecommunication Union and chairman of the International Award Selection Committee. "The Web is encouraging new types of social networks, supporting transparency and democracy, and opening up novel avenues for information management and business development."

Work on the Web continues

Berners-Lee, with a background in system design in real-time communications and text-processing software development, made the invention while working at CERN, world's largest particle physics laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland. The Web was first made available to the public in 1991. Berners-Lee created the first server, browser, and protocols central to the operation of the Web: the URL address, HTTP transmission protocol and HTML code.

Currently Berners-Lee works at the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.), in Boston. He was born in London, UK in 1955 and graduated from Oxford University. In 2003, Berners-Lee was named a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire for his pioneering work.

Open nomination procedure

Seventy-eight innovators from 22 countries were nominated for the Millennium Technology Prize 2004 in four technological fields: health care and life sciences; communication and information; new materials and processes; and energy and the environment.

Berners-Lee’s selection was based on a recommendation by the International Award Selection Committee and made unanimously by the board of the Finnish Technology Award Foundation at a meeting on 14th April. Berners-Lee will be lauded at an award ceremony in Helsinki's Finlandia Hall on 15th June 2004, to be held in conjunction with the inaugural Millennium Technology Conference, "Future Society – Future Technology".

The Finnish Technology Award Foundation is an independent fund established in 2002 and funded by the Finnish public and private sectors in partnership. Future prizes will be awarded biennially.

Further information:
Chairman of the Award Selection Committee Pekka Tarjanne, +358 400 101 222
Chairman of the Board Jaakko Ihamuotila, +358 50 577 3262
Representative Ossi Kokkonen, +358 50 64 416
Communications Officer Tytti Nahi, +358 41 577 6845

Please check www.technologyawards.org for photographs, further information on Berners-Lee and the Web and accreditation to June events.

This document

Updated 4/15/2004

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