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Torvalds wins Economic Innovation Award

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Linus Torvalds, the creator of Linux, is being honoured at The Economist's Third Annual Innovations Awards.

The event is held in San Francisco and awards innovators in six categories: bioscience, computing, energy and the environment, communications, "no boundaries" and social and economic innovation. Entries were nominated by Economist readers and journalists and the winners were chosen by a panel of 17 judges.

Torvalds wrote the original code for Linux while he was a student at the University of Helsinki. More importantly he published the code on the internet and invited other programmers to improve it and send him their improvements - the basis of open source software development.

He recently described his role within Linux as similar to a shepherd, but herding cats rather than sheep.

Torvalds won the Takeda Award in 2001 and was named one of the most influential people in the world by Time Magazine in 2004. He currently works for the Open Source Development Labs promoting the wider use of open source software.

Other winners include the creator of Toyota's hybrid car - the Prius, Muhammed Yunus, the founder of Grameen Bank which makes small loans to Bangladeshi women and Vic Hayes, former chair of IEEE 802.11 Standards Working Group for Wireless LANs. ®

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