The inventor of the world wide web, Tim Berners-Lee, has won a prestigious award which comes with a prize bag of one million euros (£671,000).
The "Father of the Web" was named as the first winner of the Millennium Technology Prize by the Finnish Technology Award Foundation.

In 1991, he came up with a system to organise, link and browse net pages which revolutionised the internet.

The British scientist was knighted for his pioneering work in 2003.


Modest man

Sir Tim created his hypertext program while he was at the particle physics institute, Cern, in Geneva.

The computer code he came up with let scientists easily share research findings across a computer network. In the early 1990s, it was dubbed the "world wide web", and is still the basis of the web as we know it.

The famously modest man never went on to commercialise his work. Instead he worked on expanding the use of the net as a channel for free expression and collaboration.

"The web has significantly enhanced many people's ability to obtain information central to their lives," said Pekka Tarjanne, chairman of the Millennium Technology Prize award committee.

"The web is encouraging new types of social networks, supporting transparency and democracy, and opening up novel avenues for information management and business development."

Just under 80 people from 22 countries were nominated for the prize for their work in the areas of health, communication, new materials and the environment.

The biennial Millennium Technology Prize was set up by the Finnish Technology Award Foundation, an independent body backed by the public and private money which aims to recognise outstanding innovations.

Sir Tim currently heads up the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston, where he is now based as an academic.

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