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Press Release Date 
Monday, July 10, 2006
SAN JOSE, Calif. - July 10, 2006 - The Tech Museum of Innovation, one of the nation's premier science and technology museums focused on "inspiring the innovator in everyone", announced today that Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates is the recipient of the 2006 James C. Morgan Global Humanitarian Award. Gates will accept this top honor during the annual Tech Museum Awards on November 15th at The Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose, where 25 innovators from around the world will be celebrated for applying technology in creative and practical ways to solve humanitarian problems and critical issues facing our planet. The Global Humanitarian Award, sponsored by Applied Materials, honors individuals whose leadership is helping society find solutions to some of humanity's greatest challenges. It was inspired by Applied Materials Chairman James Morgan's belief that technology can be a tool to turn ideas into solutions for a better world. "From Microsoft's early days, to the founding of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Bill Gates has consistently made philanthropy a priority, and demonstrated that technology can be applied not just to business problems, but for the benefit of humankind," said The Tech Museum's president, Peter Friess. "We are delighted to honor Bill Gates with this award, and to celebrate his humanitarian contributions with the next generation of innovators who can take great inspiration from his example." "I'm honored to be named as the recipient for this year's James C. Morgan Humanitarian Award," said Bill Gates. "Melinda and I are optimists who believe in the power of science and technology to help solve some of the world's most difficult problems. Through our foundation, we are committed to reducing the greatest inequities in global health, and to providing greater access to information and technologies that can help people lift themselves out of extreme poverty." While in Silicon Valley, Gates will meet with the Museum's 2006 Tech Award Laureates to learn how they're using technology in the areas of education, equality, economic development, environment and health. Bill Gates' philanthropic contributions have come in two stages. The first was creating a culture of giving at Microsoft. In 1983 he initiated a United Way giving campaign for his 476 employees; 30 years later the company has 68,000 employees and contributes $61 million, 60,000 of hours of volunteer work, and $273 million in software and services across 95 countries. Today, Microsoft employees consistently lead the nation in per capita contributions to philanthropic causes. The second phase began in 1994, when Bill created the William H. Gates Foundation. Three years later, he and Melinda created the Gates Library Foundation, which worked to bring public-access computers with Internet connections to public libraries in the U.S. The two groups merged in 2000 to form the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. At the end of 2005, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation endowment totaled $29.1 billion. The foundation has made $10.5 billion in grant commitments since its inception, and in 2005 it made grant payments of $1.36 billion. Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to reduce inequities and improve lives around the world. In developing countries, it focuses on improving health, reducing extreme poverty, and increasing access to technology in public libraries. In the United States, the foundation seeks to ensure that all people have access to a great education and to technology in public libraries. In its local region, it focuses on improving the lives of low-income families. Based in Seattle, the foundation is led by CEO Patty Stonesifer and Co-chairs William H. Gates Sr., Bill Gates, and Melinda French Gates. Tech Museum Awards Established in 2001, The Tech Museum Awards honor 25 Laureates (individuals, for-profit, public and not-for-profit organizations) from around the world who are developing innovative ways to use technology to solve global challenges. Five of these Laureates share a $250,000 cash prize. These individuals will be selected from 951 entries received this year. The cash prize winners will also be announced at the November 15 gala dinner. The black tie event will be hosted by NFL Legend Steve Young, a member of The Tech Museum's Board of Directors. The Tech Museum Awards represent a collaborative effort among educational institutions and businesses. Silicon Valley leaders supporting The Tech Museum Awards include presenting sponsor Applied Materials and Santa Clara University's Center for Science, Technology, and Society. Category sponsors include Intel, Accenture, Microsoft, Agilent Technologies Foundation, The Swanson Foundation and Applied Materials. Program sponsors include Wells Fargo, KPMG and Celerity. For more information about The Tech Museum Awards, visit About The Tech Museum of Innovation The Tech Museum of Innovation is one of the nation's premier science and technology museums, dedicated to "inspiring the innovator in everyone". Located in the heart of Silicon Valley, The Tech embodies the spirit of innovation synonymous with the region, offering exhibits, films, and educational programs that make science and technology fun, and that encourages a lifetime of curiosity. For more information, visit or call (408) 294-TECH. CONTACT: Nanci Williams Orloff/Williams Phone: (408) 293-1791 or: Brian Adams Orloff/Williams Phone: (408) 293-1791