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Wikipedia co-founder wins $104,000 Swiss prize

Jimmy Wales recognised for "democratising the access to knowledge".

Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales has won the 2011 Gottlieb Duttweiler Prize worth 100,000 Swiss Francs ($104,000).

He was awarded the prize for "democratising the access to knowledge" through Wikipedia, a multi-lingual encyclopaedia with 16 million articles written collaboratively by volunteers around the world and edited by anyone with access to the site.

The site was launched in 2001 by Jimmy Wales, an American internet entrepreneur, and his associate Larry Sanger.

The award, to be presented on 26 January, is given by the Zurich-based Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute, an independent think-tank founded by a Swiss politician and businessman of the same name.

The institute reportedly aims to "provide independent research, focusing on people and not on capital".

The most recent prize, awarded in 2008, went to former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan.