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Record number of women nominated for the Millennium Technology Prize Record number of women nominated for the Millennium Technology Prize
by Ovi Magazine Guest
2021-11-17 10:59:29
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Record number of women nominated for the Millennium Technology Prize
By Technology Academy Finland (TAF)

Women represent nearly a third of the innovators nominated for the 2022 prize. The €1 million global Millennium Technology Prize will next be awarded on 25 October 2022.

tec00001A record-breaking 28.1% of the nominees for the 2022 Millennium Technology Prize are women. The last time the prize was awarded, in 2020, women accounted for only 9.9% of the nominated innovators.

“We are very proud of the huge increase in the proportion of women among the nominees. Raising the number of female nominees was an important goal in this recently-completed nomination round, and it is very gratifying to see how the technology sector took up the challenge so well,” says Minna Palmroth, Chair of the Board at Technology Academy Finland, the organisation behind the Millennium Technology Prize.

Top-level science and technology is still often seen as the domain of men; the Millennium Technology Prize wants to break down this assumption and encourage more women into the field.

“We need more women involved in tackling our shared global challenges, and our mission is to highlight the top talent in technology and innovation. The proportion of women among top-level prize winners does not match the real contribution of female innovators,” says Palmroth.

Nominations for the Millennium Technology Prize are submitted from organisations all around the world. Technology Academy Finland does not itself seek out the prize winners; instead, the winner is chosen from among the external nominations that meet the set criteria. The nominated innovation developers may be individuals or groups.

Highest number of nominations received for the Life Science category

A total of 40 innovations were nominated for the 2022 Millennium Technology Prize.

The Life Science category, which covers areas such as biosciences, medicine and food, accounted for one third of the nominations. The Energy and the Environment and ICT and smart systems categories, meanwhile, both gathered a quarter of the nominations. The New materials, processes and manufacturing category received 5% of total nominations. The category of an innovation does not, however, affect its chances of winning the prize.

45% of the nominations were from Europe, 25% from North America, 15% from Asia-Pacific, 10% from the Middle East and 5% from Africa.

The award criteria were updated for this nomination round. The rules for the Millennium Technology Prize now emphasise the potential of award-winning technologies to conserve natural resources and to promote biodiversity and equality. In addition, assessment of the nominations also gives attention to the global accessibility of the technology and the ethical guidelines used in its development.

The Millennium Technology Prize is worth one million euros and is awarded every other year by the independent foundation Technology Academy Finland (TAF). The Patron of the prize is the President of the Republic of Finland. The prize has been awarded since 2004, and its winners include Shinya Yamanaka for his development of ethical stem cells, Stuart Parkin for his advances of data storage capacity, and Shankar Balasubramanian and David Klenerman for their development of fast and inexpensive DNA sequencing. Three of the 11 prize winners have later been awarded the Nobel Prize.

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