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'WWW' Inventor Wins Big Tech Prize

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

The award, which includes a cash prize of 1 million euros ($1.2 million), was established in 2002 "for an innovation that directly promotes people's quality of life, is based on humane values, and encourages sustainable economic development."

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 featuring the core ideas included in today's Web browsers, including Internet Explorer, Netscape, Opera, and Mozilla.

The prize committee on Thursday said Berners-Lee's contribution strongly embodied the spirit of the award.

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

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.

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, continues to work at the standard-setting World Wide Web Consortium at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

An award ceremony will be held June 15 in Helsinki.

By Mans Hulden

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