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November 4, 2009

Jimmy Wales wins Nokia Foundation Award

Henri Tirri, left, with Jimmy Wales

HELSINKI, FinlandWikipedia founder Jimmy Wales is the 2009 recipient of the Nokia Foundation award. Wales, the man behind the community-driven encyclopedia that has become the web’s de facto reference site, was honoured for his contributions to the evolution of the World Wide Web as a participatory and truly democratic platform. In presenting the €10,000 award at the Nokia Foundation scholarship awards ceremony today, Henry Tirri, head of Nokia Research Centre and Nokia Foundation chairman, said the award was both deserved and timely.

“The theme for this yearís 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.”

When Wales launched Wikipedia in 2001, its approach of letting its users compile and edit entries was revolutionary. But it’s a formula that has met with huge success: Wikipedia attracts an average of more than 330 million visitors a month, and contains more than 14 million articles in more than 260 languages.

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 Rintam‰ki (2002), George Metakides (2003), Heikki Lyytinen (2004), Moncef Gabbouj (2005), MÂrten Mickos (2006), Pekka Abrahamsson (2007), Aapo Kyrölä and Sampo Karjalainen (2008).

In addition to honouring Wales and Wikipedia, the Nokia Foundation also awarded doctorate scholarships worth €385,000 to 77 post-graduate students in the field of information and data communications technology.