|Bioscience: David Goeddel, chief executive of Tularik, for gene cloning and the expression of human proteins.
In 1978, Dr Goeddel went to work at Genentech as its staff scientist—making him the first employee of the first biotech firm. His pioneering work in the field of gene cloning and expression research made it possible to produce insulin in the laboratory for the first time, and led to the first drug produced using recombinant DNA technology. He is now chief executive officer of Tularik, a firm he co-founded.
|Communications: Vic Hayes, former chair of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) 802.11 working group, for the development and standardisation of Wi-Fi wireless networks.
Considered the father of Wi-Fi, Mr Hayes chaired the IEEE 802.11 committee, which was set up in 1990 to establish a wireless networking standard. Wi-Fi now enables wireless connectivity in millions of homes, schools and offices, and an increasing number of hotels and airports.
|Computing: Linus Torvalds, Open Source Development Labs fellow, for the development of the Linux operating system.
Mr Torvalds released the first version of the Linux kernel in 1991, when he was a 21-year-old computer-science student at the University of Helsinki, Finland. He made the source code behind Linux freely available so that others could modify it to suit their needs, or contribute their own improvements. Linux now runs on millions of devices from handhelds to mainframes, and has attracted wide industry support.
|Energy: Takeshi Uchiyamada, senior managing director, Toyota, for developing the Prius hybrid car
In 1994, Mr Uchiyamada joined Toyota's project to develop an eco-friendly car for the 21st century. He became chief engineer for the Prius, the world's first mass-produced petrol-electric hybrid car, in 1996. Given a free hand in the design, his team developed a continuously variable transmission system that allows the petrol engine and electric motor to work separately or in tandem. The hybrid design improves fuel efficiency and dramatically cuts emissions. By 2003, Prius sales had topped 150,000 units worldwide.
|No boundaries: Gerd Binnig, Heinrich Rohrer and Christoph Gerber, researchers at IBM's Zurich Research Laboratory, for the development of the scanning-tunnelling microscope (STM).
In 1981 Dr Binnig, Dr Rohrer and Dr Gerber developed the STM, a device that made it possible to image and study structures and processes on the atomic scale and in three dimensions (see article). The STM, which now exists in dozens of variants, is a vital research tool in such fields as materials science, nanotechnology and microbiology. In 1986, Dr Binnig and Dr Rohrer shared half of the Nobel prize in physics for their work in developing the STM.
|Social and economic innovation: Muhammad Yunus, founder, Grameen Bank, for the development of microcredit.
Dr Yunus is the managing director of Grameen Bank, whose 1,300 branches serve more than 3.5m people in 46,000 villages in Bangladesh. He devised the concept of rural microcredit, the practice of making small loans to individuals without collateral. Typical customers are women who borrow $30 to start a small business by, for example, buying a sewing machine. Grameen's repayment rate is 98%. The microcredit model has been emulated in 50 countries around the world, including America.