British scientist Prof Stuart Parkin has won the 2014 Millennium technology prize worth €1m (£824,400) for research that has led to a phenomenal increase in the storage capacity of digital devices and heralded the era of cloud computing.
The Watford-born physicist told the Guardian he planned to use the money to buy a house in Halle, Germany, but was aiming for a low-key celebration.
“I will celebrate the award by inviting my fiancée to the Vendôme restaurant in Schloss Bensberg, one of our favourite restaurants in Germany for very special occasions,” he said.
The physicist joins past winners including the inventor of the world wide web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, Linux creator Linus Torvalds and pioneer of dye-sensitised solar cells Michael Grätzel.
Launched in 2004 and presented every two years, the Millennium technology prize is awarded by Technology Academy Finland and is backed by Finnish industry and the Finnish state. This year’s ceremony takes place in Helsinki on 7 May.
“It’s fantastic,” said Parkin. “It’s a great prize. Wonderful scientists and technologists won it before, so of course I am greatly honoured to have been chosen.”