Berners-Lee wins inaugural technology prize

Inventor of the World Wide Web awarded $1.2 million Millennium Technology Prize

Tim Berners-Lee, credited with being the inventor of the World Wide Web, has been awarded the inaugural Millennium Technology Prize, which carries an emolument of €1 million ($1.19 million), the Finnish Technology Award Foundation announced Thursday.

The foundation describes the award as an international acknowledgement of outstanding technological innovation that directly promotes people's quality of life, is based on humane values, and encourages sustainable economic development.

While working at the European particle physics laboratory CERN in 1989, Berners-Lee proposed a global hypertext project, designed to allow people to work together through organizing, linking and browsing pages of content. That hypertext project became known as the World Wide Web.

The program, WorldWideWeb, was first made available within CERN in December 1990, and all of Berners-Lee's code was made available on the Internet in the summer of 1991, according to information from the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), which Berners-Lee founded in 1994.

Berners-Lee presently serves as director of the W3C, which coordinates Web development worldwide.

In January this year, Berners-Lee, 48, a U.K. citizen who lives in the U.S., was named a Knight Commander, Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth of the U.K. in recognition of his "services to the global development of the Internet" through the invention of the World Wide Web.

The Millennium Technology Prize will be awarded every two years, the Foundation said.