What Shinya Yamanaka and Shuji Nakamura have in common

When mentioning the names Shinya Yamanaka and Shuji Nakamura, some might recognize them as Nobel laureates. Yamanaka, a Japanese physician, won the 2012 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his research into adult skin cells, while Japanese-American physicist Nakamura received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2014 for inventing environmentally friendly blue light-emitting diodes.

However, what most don't know is that these two scientists were also the recipients of another award prior to receiving their glorious Nobel crowns. The Millennium Technology Prize is Finland's tribute to innovations which advance the quality of humanity and is regarded as a forerunner to the breakthroughs recognized by the Nobel Prize.