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Date: Monday September 11, 2006 11:14:00 am | Views: 106
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    Top prize for ‘light’ inventor
    Japanese scientist who invented environmentally friendly sources of
    light has been awarded this year’s Millennium Technology Prize.

    Shuji Nakamura was given the 1m Euro (£680,000) prize at a ceremony in
    Helsinki, Finland.The award recognised his inventions of blue, green
    and white light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and the blue laser diode.White
    LEDs could provide a sustainable, low-cost alternative to lightbulbs,
    especially in developing countries.His other inventions such as blue
    LEDs are used in flat-screen displays, while blue lasers are already
    being exploited in the next generation of DVD player.”Professor
    Nakamura’s technological innovations in the field of semiconductor
    materials and devices are groundbreaking,” said Jaakko Ihamuotila,
    chairman of the Millennium Prize Foundation.

    White light
    Millennium Technology Prize is the world’s largest technology award,
    equivalent to the Nobel Prizes for science. It recognises technological
    developments that have a positive impact on quality of life and
    sustainable development.It is awarded every two years. The first prize,
    awarded in 2004, was presented to Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the
    World Wide Web.Receiving the award, Professor Nakamura said: “I hope
    the award of this prize will help people to understand that this
    invention makes it possible to improve quality of life for many
    millions of people.”This is not just a source of light that makes
    enormous energy savings possible, it is also an innovation that can be
    used in the sterilisation of drinking water and for storing data in
    much more efficient ways.”As LEDs are more robust than traditional
    lightbulbs and use relatively little power they can easily be combined
    with solar panels to provide lighting in remote areas of developing
    countries.In his speech, Professor Nakamura said he would donate part
    of the prize money to organisations that promote the use of LED
    lighting in such locations.Professor Nakamura is based at the
    University of California, Santa Barbara, where his research into new
    sources of light continues.

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