Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, has finally received a substantial financial reward for his achievements.
Berners-Lee will pick up €1m (£670,000) after winning the inaugural Millennium Technology Prize, awarded by the Finnish Technology Award Foundation.
The Millennium Technology Prize recognises "outstanding technological innovation" that is based on humane values, encourages sustainable economic development and has directly increased the quality of life of people around the globe.
"The Web has significantly enhanced many people's ability to obtain information central to their lives," said Pekka Tarjanne, chairman of the International Award Selection Committee. "The Web is encouraging new types of social networks, supporting transparency and democracy, and opening up novel avenues for information management and business development."
Berners-Lee created the Web while working at CERN, the European particle physics laboratory in Geneva. To allow users to browse documents over a network he wrote the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP), invented URLs (initially called universal resource identifiers rather than locators), and wrote the first Web browser.
He now heads up the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), a not-for-profit organisation that works to enhance the Web.
Berners-Lee was knighted in the 2003 honours list. He will collect the Millennium Technology Prize in June at the inaugural Millennium Technology Conference, called "Future Society - Future Technology."