The Economist magazine has selected a few expected and unexpected people in its annual prizes that recognise successful innovators.
The Economist acknowledges that innovation, which is now recognised as one of the most important contributors to economic growth, depends on the creative individuals who dream up new ideas and turn them into reality.
The Innovation Awards are presented in seven fields: bioscience, computing and communications, energy and the environment, social and economic innovation, business-process innovation, consumer products, and a special “no boundaries” category.
The winners were:
* Bioscience: Herbert Boyer, co-founder and director of Genentech, and Stanley Cohen, professor of genetics and medicine at the Stanford University School of Medicine, for developing recombinant DNA technology.
* Computing and communications: Sergey Brin and Larry Page, co-founders of Google for the commercialisation of search technology.
* Energy and the environment: Stanford Ovshinsky, president and chief scientist and technologist, Energy Conversion Devices, for developing the nickel-metal-hydride battery.
* Social and economic innovation: Victoria Hale, chairman and chief executive, Institute for OneWorld Health, for her work promoting the development of pharmaceuticals for the developing world.
* Business-process innovation: Alpheus Bingham, chairman, InnoCentive, for his work developing a web-based problem-solving community.
* Consumer product: the iPod team at Apple for the development of the iPod digital-music player.
* No boundaries: Fujio Masuoka, professor, Tohoku University for the invention of flash memory.
View the Economist’s article for a more detailed description of the awarded innovators’ achievements.