The 2006 Millennium Technology Prize was presented to Professor Shuji Nakamura on 89/2006 in Helsinki for his invention of new sources of light. President of the Republic of Finland Tarja Halonen handed Professor Nakamura the prize of one million euros and ”Peak”, the prize trophy.
According to Professor Nakamura, we have only just begun to explore the vast number of opportunities presented by applications using LEDs and lasers. ”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 can be powered by solar panels, lighting can be provided in remote areas of developing countries. In his speech, Professor Nakamura said that he will be donating part of the prize money to organizations that promote the use of LED lighting in such locations.