Torvalds and Yamanaka share Millenium Technology Prize
Linus Torvalds will share the Millennium Technology Prize with Dr. Shinya Yamanaka – the first time the €1.2 million euro prize has been split between nominees. The prize, awarded by the Technology Academy Finland, was split between the two as the prize committee felt that both "will remain important for generations to come". The committee said that it had to judge the overall positive impact of an innovation and its potential, and in this case, felt that both winners "embody that principle".
The prize was presented by the President of the Republic of Finland, Sauli Niinisto, at the Finnish National Opera in Helsinki. Torvalds received the prize for his work on creating and maintaining the open source Linux kernel and said the prize was especially important for him as it came from an organisation in his native Finland. Torvalds added "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".
Dr. Yamanaka's prize-winning work was the creation of induced pluripotent stem cells for medical research, first with mouse cells in 2006 and in human cells in 2007. "I am not accepting this on behalf of myself alone" said Yamanaka: "The discovery of induced pluripotent stem cells could not have been achieved without tremendous efforts by students and technicians in my laboratory".