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Focus on people-centred technology

The worlds biggest technology award calls for discussion on people-centred technology. The one million euro Millennium Technology Prize will be awarded for the first time on 15th June 2004 in Helsinki, Finland.

The prize ceremonies will be accompanied by a technology conference that explores the opportunities, dangers and threats of technological change on people's quality of life. The conference, held on 13-16 June in Espoo, is geared towards decision makers and opinion leaders in society, chief technology officers and leading figures in the scientific community. Cross-disciplinary programme The cross-disciplinary programme is exceptional, in that experts working in different areas of technology and social science comment upon each keynote speech. "We expect to hear new insights and constructive debates that contribute to sustainable global wellbeing by directing the research, technology strategies and societal decisions of this Millennium", highlighted Dr. Anneli Pauli, Vice President (research) of the Academy of Finland on 3rd February. Dr. Pauli chairs the conference Scientific Programme Committee. World-class speakers The keynote speakers are distinguished international researchers and societal decision-makers. The significance of global cooperation for technological development is the subject of the first keynote speech. It will be given by Professor Sir Chris Llewellyn-Smith, director of UKAEA Culham Division, which operates the worlds largest fusion experiment. Keynote speakers also include one of the worlds top researchers of human genomes Dr. David R. Cox; the father of the term nanotechnology Dr. K. Eric Drexler; an award-winning consultant on information technology as support for managerial judgement Professor Peter Keen; and the Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change (IPCC) Dr. Rajendra K. Pachauri. Commentaries will be given, among others, by Director of the US National Science Foundation (NSF) Dr. Rita R. Colwell; President of Nokia Networks Ms. Sari Baldauf; and Chairman of Future 500 organisation Mr. Takashi Kiuchi. Mr. Tim Sebastian, the quick-witted presenter of Hardtalk, the daily interview programme for BBC, will chair the closing panel. 78 innovators from four continents have been nominated for The Millennium Technology Prize 2004. The winner, selected by the International Award Selection Panel, will be announced at 9am on 15th April at the Dipoli Congress Centre in Espoo. The Prize is awarded every second year. Further information: Ossi Kokkonen, Representative, Finnish Technology Award Foundation, mobile +358 50 644 16,Tytti Nahi, Communications Officer, Finnish Technology Award Foundation, mobile +358 41 577 6845 Speakers biographies, some pictures and other media material: http://www.technologyawards.org