Millennium Technology Prize: Persistence, courage and expertise – innovations for a better life

Finland is a success story. The integration of human values and know-how with technology is a recipe that, in less than a hundred years, made Finland into one of the happiest and most stable and equal countries in the world. When the small country in Northern Europe willed itself into a welfare state, technological innovation came to play a key role in its development.

The Millennium Technology Prize is Finland’s tribute to innovations that promote the well-being of mankind and society. Technology Academy Finland (TAF) is the home of the Prize and the President of the Republic of Finland is the patron of it. The one-million-euro international prize was first awarded in 2004. The Prize indicates the crucial role technology and science play in solving the great challenges of the world. Adequate food, energy and materials, a clean environment, and combatting serious illnesses are all issues we must not take for granted.

All present and future winners of the Millennium Technology Prize have had the courage and curiosity to explore the world from new perspectives. They are pioneers, people who make scientific knowledge bloom in the form of revolutionary innovations and new technologies, the ones who develop technologies to respond to the greatest challenges of our time, such as climate change.

Technological innovations serve the common good, build bridges across cultural boundaries, and create a better, cleaner and more sustainable world in which everyone has room to live. In the future, radical innovations will increasingly emerge from borderless collaboration, as interdisciplinary approaches are needed to transform radical ideas and findings into innovations, and further to applications with global commercial viability and new socioeconomic value. Innovations arise from openness and when those of different viewpoints and competencies work together.

The world needs innovation. Let’s take good care of tomorrow.