The Millennium Technology Prize is the largest technology prize in the world and it is awarded once every two years by Technology Academy Finland. The Awarded is given for life-enhancing technological innovation. Linux kernel creator Linus Torvalds and Dr. Shinya Yamanaka won the Millennium Technology Prize, the prominent award for technological innovation for 2012.
Linus Torvalds is best known for creation of a new open source operating system Linux kernel. It is one of the most prominent examples of free and open source software. Linux is far more than just a server operating system. In fact, it’s running in quite a few more places and powers devices such as smart mobile phones, home routers / switches, server, DVR, tablet device and much more. The Linux kernel has received contributions from thousands of programmers and companies around the world. According to David A. Wheeler’s calculations it could cost approximately 3 billion USD (about 2.2 billion EUR) to redevelop the Linux kernel. He also created the revision control system Git. From the press release:
In recognition of his creation of a new open source operating system for computers leading to the widely used Linux kernel. The free availability of Linux on the Web swiftly caused a chain-reaction leading to further development and fine-tuning worth the equivalent of 73,000 man-years. Today millions use computers, smartphones and digital video recorders like Tivo run on Linux. Linus Torvald’s achievements have had a great impact on shared software development, networking and the openness of the web, making it accessible for millions, if not billions.
See also – this professional video from the Linux foundation provides a quick insight into Linux building procedure. This is a powerful and inspiring story of how Linux has become a volunteer-driven phenomenon.
Dr. Shinya Yamanaka
Shinya Yamanaka is a Japanese stem cell researcher. Currently, he serves as the director of Center for iPS Cell Research and Application and a professor at the Institute for Frontier Medical Sciences at Kyoto University. From the press release:
In recognition of his discovery of a new method to develop induced pluripotent stem cells for medical research that do not rely on the use of embryonic stem cells. Using his method to create stem cells, scientists all over the world are making great strides in research in medical drug testing and biotechnology that should one day lead to the successful growth of implant tissues for clinical surgery and combating intractable diseases such as cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer’s. Dr. Yamanaka is specifically cited for his prominent work in ethically sustainable methodology.
A HUGE congratulations to both Linus and Shinya for their engineering and scientific work. The Prize celebrates innovations that have a favorable impact on quality of human life and today and in the future. It is awarded by the Technology Academy Finland, an independent foundation established by Finnish industry, in partnership with the Finnish state. The prize pool exceeds EUR 1 Million which is divided between the winner and other laureates. The main prize sum of 800,000 euros (~US$ 1 million).
On the Net:
- Press release: Stem cell pioneer and open source software engineer are 2012 winner Millennium Technology prize.
- Linus Torvalds and Shinya Yamanaka – from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
- Image credit: Wikipedia