Linus Torvalds Shares the Millenium Technology Prize

by Ostatic Staff - Jun. 13, 2012

Back in April, Linux creator Linus Torvalds recieved one of the technology commmunity's highest honors: He was named a Millenium Technology Prize laureate by the Technology Academy of Finland. Candidates for laureate status are considered from all around the world, in all fields of technology, with prize winners named from the small pool of laureates every two years. Now, the Technology Academy of Finland has named Torvalds joint winner of the 2012 Millenium Technology Prize, which includes a hefty cash award.

Torvalds shares this year's prize with Dr. Shinya Yamanaka, a stem cell scientist. He and Yamanaka will each recieve 600,000 euros, or about $752,000. 

In April, when Torvalds received his nomination, the announcement said:

"The Millennium Technology Prize is awarded every two years for innovations improving the quality of human life and encouraging sustainable development. Universities, research institutions, scientific and engineering academies, and high-tech companies from around the globe make nominations. The International Selection Committee, nominated by TAF Board, reviews the nominations and determines the year's laureates. The Board makes the final decision on who will be the recipients of the prize, which is together established by Finnish industry and state."

The President of the Republic of Finland bestowed the award. According to the prize announcement:

"The Prize Committee decided, for the first time in the Millennium Technology Prize’s ten year history, to award the Grand Prize to two innovators. Dr Shinya Yamanaka’s work in stem cell research and Linus Torvalds’s work in open source software have transformed their fields and will remain important for generations to come."

“The International Selection Committee has to judge whether an innovation has had a favorable impact on people’s lives and assess its potential for further development to benefit humanity in the future. The innovations of both this year’s winners embody that principle."

And Torvalds said, in a statement: “I’m really honored to be the joint recipient of this year’s Millennium Technology Prize. This recognition is particularly important to me given that it’s given by the Technology Academy of Finland. Thank you to the International Selection Committee and the TAF Board. I’d also like to thank all the people I’ve worked with, who have helped make the project not only such a technical success, but have made it so fun and interesting.”