The Technology Academy Finland has announced the four finalists for the 2008 Millennium Technology Prize. The winning life-enhancing technological innovation will be awarded €800,000 from a prize pool totaling €1.15 million, the remainder going to the three other finalists.
The winner will receive the award at a ceremony held on 11 June 2008. The selection process was carried out by the Technology Academy Finland board on the basis of recommendations made by an international selection committee.
Contenders for the prize are:
British geneticist Sir Alec Jeffreys, Professor in the Department of Genetics at the University of Leicester, UK, selected, “for his invention of DNA fingerprinting used in identification of criminal suspects and in paternity and immigration disputes. No other development in modern genetics has had such a profound impact worldwide on the lives of many millions of people.”
Professor Robert Langer from Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology, USA, was selected, “for his inventions and development of innovative biomaterials for controlled drug release and tissue regeneration that have saved and improved the lives of millions of people.”
Dr Andrew J. Viterbi, president of Viterbi Group LLC and Professor Emeritus at the University of Southern California, USA, selected, “for the invention of the Viterbi algorithm, the key building element in modern wireless and digital communications systems, touching lives of people everywhere.”
Professor Emmanuel Desurvire, director of the Physics Research Group at Thales Corporate Research & Technology, France; Dr. Randy Giles, director of Optical Networks, Bell Laboratories, Alcatel-Lucent in New Jersey, USA, and Professor David N. Payne, director of Optoelectronics Research Centre at the University of Southampton, UK, selected, “for their outstanding contributions to telecommunications through the invention of the erbium-doped fibre amplifier (EDFA) which made possible the global high-capacity optical fibre network, serving as a backbone of the global information superhighway.”