Technology Academy Finland has called on universities, research institutes and industrial organisations from around the world to nominate candidates for the sixth Millennium Technology Prize – one of the World’s leading science and technology awards. The nomination period for the prize begins on January 14, 2013 and will remain open until July 31, 2013. The Grand Prize Winner(s) will be announced at a ceremony in Helsinki in June 2014.
With a prize pot of at least one million euros, the award is given every two years by Technology Academy Finland (TAF), an independent foundation established by Finnish industry in partnership with government and academic institutions.
The winner(s) of the prize is responsible for an innovation that has changed or has a potential to change people’s lives for the better. The innovations must have been applied in practice and are proven to deliver extensive change now and in the future, stimulating further cutting edge research and development in science and technology. The prize can be awarded to a single individual or to a team and is open to innovators of all nationalities and to those working in all fields of technology apart from military technology.
The prize is celebrated for its robust vetting and judging process, run by experts in the field. The task of sifting and assessing the nominations falls to the International Selection Committee made up of eight world-class scientists. The Committee members are selected by the Board of Technology Academy Finland based on proposals made by Aalto University.
The Selection Committee members assess nominations according to several important criteria. Firstly, an innovation must already have shown that it can have a beneficial influence on a large number of people. Secondly it must promote sustainable development. Thirdly, the nominees must be planning to continue developing their cutting-edge research themselves. Finally, self-nominations are not permitted – candidates must be nominated by representatives of science and engineering academies, universities, research institutes, industrial enterprises and associations.
The International Selection Committee starts the evaluation process by studying the background material prepared by the nominators. In the next step the Committee carries out its own research on the most promising candidates. Based on the outcome, the Committee draws up a shortlist of Laureates for the Board of the Technology Academy Finland. Upon approval from the Board the International Selection Committee further recommends a Winner (Winners) for the Grand Prize, to be finally approved by the TAF Board.