Towards the Digital Millennium Spring

This spring will feature yet another award ceremony as Technology Academy Finland (TAF) presents the Millennium Technology Prize for the seventh time in May.

TAF is committed to promoting technological progress, the application of innovations and sustainable growth. These principles also apply to this publication: for the first time, the showcasing of the Millennium Technology Prize is being published in digital format.

The first-ever Millennium Technology Prize was awarded in 2004 to the English computer scientist Sir Tim Berners-Lee for the invention of the World Wide Web. We therefore also have Berners-Lee to thank for making this publication possible – and above all for the fact that the Web technology we use every day is universal, open and free. Berners-Lee also developed the first Universal Resource Locators, URLs, the addresses that allow anyone to easily access this publication simply by typing into the address field – or for the English edition.

Most of you will be reading this editorial on a liquid crystal display backlit by LEDs. The room in which you find yourself is more likely than not lit with energy-efficient LED lights. For these improvements in our life we may nod in thanks to the Japanese inventor Shuji Nakamura, recipient of the 2006 Millennium Technology Prize for creating blue and white LEDs. The internet connection you are using may come to you via a fast fibre-optic cable network whose development relied on crucial innovations made by the 2008 laureates Emmanuel Desurvire, Randy Giles and David Payne.

In keeping with our values, this online publication also relies on a publishing platform that utilises open-source code. Linus Torvalds, the first Finn to be awarded the Millennium Technology Prize, received it in 2012 for Linux, the open-source operating system. And just like software, so must science, technology and innovations also be open to continuous development in order to enable us to build more sustainable solutions that improve quality of life around the globe.

In our online publication, we will follow the journey of this year’s Millennium Technology Prize all the way to the announcement of the winner in Helsinki on 24 May 2016. We want to highlight the global importance of the Millennium Technology Prize and the foundation on which the prize and its ideals rest: Finnish innovation, ingenuity and a solution-oriented philosophy. We will be updating the publication on a weekly basis so that you may enjoy not only stories about the Millennium Technology Prize but also Finnish expertise and the contribution of Finland to a better life.

We hope you enjoy reading our online publication!