The Marconi Prize is the most prestigious Information and Communication Technology (ICT) prize in the world. It can be compared to the Nobel Prize in that it has been awarded only to the most famous scientists.
The Marconi Prize was founded in 1974 by the Marconi International Fellowship Foundation (now The Marconi Society), which was created by Gioia Marconi, the scientist’s daughter, with the aim of keeping the spirit of Guglielmo Marconi alive. Marconi was a scientist, inventor and entrepreneur and his determination that scientific discoveries had to be put at the service of mankind was tireless. The Marconi Society is currently based at the Columbia University in New York.
The prize award amounts to $ 100.000 and is conferred every year to scientists who have particularly distinguished themselves in the development of communications with their scientific discoveries or by creating new technological applications.
Over the years the prize has been awarded to scientists of the calibre of Larry Page and Sergey Brin (Google inventors), Tim Berners-Lee (the father of the World Wide Web), Federico Faggin (for his research on semiconductors), Leonard Kleinrock (the creator of ARPANET, the first worldwide information network), Charles Kuen Kao (2009 Nobel Prize for Physics winner) and many others.
The Marconi Society operates with a Selection Advisory Committee which evaluates candidates and submits the most important proposals to the Board of Directors which makes the final selection.
The Marconi Prize 2009 edition was held in Bologna, organised by Marconi Society and Marconi Foundation with the contribution of Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio in Bologna and in collaboration with Federazione Nazionale dei Cavalieri del Lavoro and with Unindustria Bologna.