Tim Berners-Lee has been awarded the first Millennium Technology Prize for creating the ubiquitous World Wide Web.

InformationWeek Staff, Contributor

April 15, 2004

2 Min Read

ESPOO, Finland -- The MIT scientist credited with inventing the World Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee, has been awarded the first Millennium Technology Prize.

The award, a 1 million-euro cash prize, equivalent to $1.2 million, is among the largest of its kind, and was awarded for the first time. It was established in 2002 and backed by the Finnish government.

The prize committee on Thursday said Berners-Lee's contribution strongly embodied the spirit of the award, given "for an innovation that directly promotes people's quality of life, is based on humane values, and encourages sustainable economic development."

Pekka Tarjanne, chairman of the prize committee, underlined the importance of Berners-Lee's decision to never strive to commercialize or patent his contributions to the Internet technologies he has developed.

Berners-Lee is recognized as the creator of the World Wide Web while working for the CERN Laboratory in the early 1990s, the European center for nuclear research near Geneva, Switzerland. His graphical point-and-click browser, "WorldWideWeb," was the first client that featured the core ideas included in today's Web browsers--Internet Explorer, Netscape, Opera, and Mozilla among them.

The prize is administered by the Finnish Technology Award Foundation, an independent fund supported by the Finnish government and a number of Finnish companies and organizations. Future prizes will be awarded every two years. The eight-member international awards committee is headed by Tarjanne, who is a professor at the Finnish Academy of Technology.

This year, 74 nominations were received for the award. Universities, research institutes, and national scientific academies are eligible to nominate prize winners.

Berners-Lee, who is originally from Britain, was knighted in December last year. He continues to work at the standard-setting World Wide Web Consortium at MIT.

An award ceremony will be held in Helsinki on June 15.

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