HELSINKI, May 7 (Xinhua) -- Stuart Parkin, a physicist who has enabled vast increase in digital storage, received the 2014 Millennium Technology Prize in Helsinki on Wednesday.
Finnish President Sauli Niinisto presented the prize, which is worth 1 million euros (1.39 million U.S. dollars), to Parkin in the Millennium Pavilion, a makeshift guest hall specially designed for the ceremony.
Born in 1955 in England, Parkin has been living in the United States for three decades working for for IBM, where he invented the GMR read head, a key component of the hard disk drive.
In recent years, he has been a visiting professor at Stanford University as well.
According to Technology Academy Finland, Parkin's innovation enables cloud computing, social media and online streaming and sharing of music and films.
Tze-Chiang Chen, IBM Vice President of Science and Technology said Parkin was invited to join his team in 1982 in an effort to promote the research in enhancing digital storage ability.
Speaking highly of the Millennium Technology Prize, Chen said it is meant to reward scientists who bring significant impact to people's lives, unlike the Nobel Prize which emphasizes pure scientific breakthrough.
He told Xinhua that Parkin's innovation was commended by peers.
The Millennium Technology Prize was set by the Finnish government in 2004 to honor individuals and groups who have made significant contributions in the fields of science and technology, aiming to particularly highlight innovations that assist and enrich everyday lives.
The prize is awarded every two years by Technology Academy Finland, an independent foundation established by Finnish industry and the Finnish state in partnership.
Innovators of the World Wide Web, Linux open source software, breakthroughs in stem cell research, blue and white LEDs, cost-efficient solar energy and new biomaterials as artificial tissue have won the prize in the past decade.