The Nokia Foundation has granted its 2009 award to Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia, the free, multilingual encyclopedia. Wales was awarded for his contributions to the evolution of the World Wide Web as a participatory and truly democratic platform.
The EUR 10,000 award was presented at the Nokia Foundation scholarship awards ceremony on 4 November, 2009.
"It's a great honor to present this award on behalf of the Board of the Nokia Foundation to an individual who we believe has made a unique contribution to accelerating online collaboration and interaction for millions of people around the world, and effectively democratizing information sharing," said Henry Tirri, head of Nokia Research Center and Chairman of the Board of the Nokia Foundation.
"The theme for this year's award is Open Innovation, a way of working which is very important for our activities at Nokia Research Center, and a value which we believe is embodied in the participatory and inclusive approach of Wikipedia," he continued.
Since its creation in 2001, Wikipedia has grown rapidly into one of the largest reference web sites, so far attracting an average of more than 330 million monthly visitors this year. There are more than 75,000 active contributors working on more than 14,000,000 articles in more than 260 languages. Wales is also the co-founder of Wikia.com, a project which expands the participatory editing model into new areas, allowing the global community to come together to build the "rest of the library".
Previous recipients of the Nokia Foundation annual award include Lauri Kuokkanen (1995), Pekka Tarjanne (1996), Linus Torvalds (1997), Arto Salomaa (1998), Kullervo Nieminen (1999), Osmo A. Wiio (2000), Ilkka Haikala (2001), Veikko Rintamäki (2002), George Metakides (2003), Heikki Lyytinen (2004), Moncef Gabbouj (2005), Mårten Mickos (2006), Pekka Abrahamsson (2007), Aapo Kyrölä and Sampo Karjalainen (2008).
This year, the Nokia Foundation also awarded 77 scholarships with a total value of EUR 385,000. All 77 scholarships were granted to post-graduate students to support the completion of their doctorate studies in the field of information and data communications technology.