Linux Wins Nokia Award

by Phil Hughes

If you have a Nokia cellular phone, use it to call your friends and let them know that Linus Torvalds won another award. On December 10, 1997, the Nokia Foundation granted its 1997 Award to Linus Torvalds, one of the world's most famous young Finnish researchers in the area of information technology. The award is worth FIM 50,000 (about $9400 US).

Nokia's press release stated that Linus' inspiring example for young researchers was of special interest in his selection. I don't think this comes as a surprise to those of us who have been members of the Linux community for the past few years, but it is nice to see such recognition from a foundation established by a large company.

The Nokia Foundation, established in 1995, supports the development of information and telecommunications education and technologies in Finland. In addition to the award presented to Linus, the Foundation granted more than thirty scholarships and one fellowship to further individual and institutional development at Finnish universities.

At the Grant Holder Announcement event, Nokia President and CEO Jorma Ollila emphasized the importance of education, research and development in maintaining the competitiveness of the Finnish telecommunications industry. Ollila discussed the need to complement study time with practical applications: “If we could shorten the study time by one year, for example, and spend that time on effective research and development work, we would remarkably strengthen our national competitiveness.” Obviously, the Nokia Foundation believed that combining graduate studies with the creation of an operating system that is used around the world was a pretty good example of these principles.

Congratulations, Linus.

More Than Research

As we all know, there is a lot more to Linux these days than research. December 19, the movie Titanic opened. If you read last month's Linux Journal, you know that a herd of Digital Alpha computers running Linux were used in the production of the film. While Finland isn't getting a big kickback from the box office receipts, Mr. Ollila is certainly right that research can make a difference.

Linux is doing a lot more out there than making movies. The Linux Means Business columns we run each month offer detailed looks into how government, business and industry use Linux. Another less detailed resource is a web page put together by Mercury Information Technology, Inc. This is a page dedicated to Linux business applications. What you find there are companies like Sony, Mercedes-Benz, Cisco Systems and Fluke as well as the companies you regularly see in the pages of Linux Journal.

This page is a great resource and M-tech has agreed to our mirroring it on the business connection link of the Linux Resources page (

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