The Millennium Technology Prize is the largest technology prize in the world and it is awarded once every two years by Technology Academy Finland. The Awarded is given for life-enhancing technological innovation.

Linux kernel creator Linus Torvalds and Dr. Shinya Yamanaka won the Millennium Technology Prize, the prominent award for technological innovation for 2012.

Linus Torvalds

Linus Torvalds is best known for creation of a new open source operating system Linux kernel. It is one of the most prominent examples of free and open source software. Linux is far more than just a server operating system. In fact, it's running in quite a few more places and powers devices such as smart mobile phones, home routers / switches, server, DVR, tablet device and much more. The Linux kernel has received contributions from thousands of programmers and companies around the world. According to David A. Wheeler's calculations it could cost approximately 3 billion USD (about 2.2 billion EUR) to redevelop the Linux kernel. He also created the revision control system Git.

From the press release:
In recognition of his creation of a new open source operating system for computers leading to the widely used Linux kernel. The free availability of Linux on the Web swiftly caused a chain-reaction leading to further development and fine-tuning worth the equivalent of 73,000 man-years. Today millions use computers, smartphones and digital video recorders like Tivo run on Linux. Linus Torvald’s achievements have had a great impact on shared software development, networking and the openness of the web, making it accessible for millions, if not billions.