The Australian Innovation Challenge

The Australian Innovation Challenge awards 2012 are now open for submissions. You can enter whether you’re a professional scientist or engineer, an educator or a creative genius inventing in your shed. Submit your innovation for an opportunity to be recognised in the nation’s leading newspaper and website, and for an opportunity to win a share of $70,000 in prize money.

Entries close August 12, 2012, so enter now* to inspire, invent and create. Visit the Innovation Challenge website for more information, guidelines and on-line submissions.

Professional categories (1–7)

1. Environment (Prize $5,000)
The environment category covers innovation, including clean energy technology, to help Australia reduce its carbon footprint and adapt to natural climate variability and global climate change. It also covers technology tackling problems in pollution control, biodiversity conservation, land degradation, and water conservation and quality. It includes breakthroughs in enabling technology such as nanotechnology and biotechnology.

2. Health (Prize $5,000)
The health category covers innovation in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease, and in the improvement of Australians’ quality of life through good health. It includes breakthroughs in genetics, genomics, proteomics, biotechnology and nanotechnology, and the development of new drugs and medical devices.

3. Agriculture and food (Prize $5,000)
The agriculture and food category covers breakthroughs in food production and processing and in ways to safeguard the industry from invasive pests and exotic plant and animal diseases. It also covers biotechnology and nanotechnology.

4. Minerals and energy (Prize $5,000)
The minerals and energy category covers innovation in minerals and energy exploration, extraction and processing. It includes advances in biotechnology and nanotechnology.

5. Manufacturing and hi-tech design (Prize $5,000)
The manufacturing and high-tech design category covers innovation with the potential to make Australia’s manufacturing sector more efficient and competitive, to transform existing industries and to stimulate the creation of new industries and products. It also covers high-tech designs, either taken up in Australia or exported. It includes breakthroughs in textiles and in enabling technology such as nanotechnology and advanced materials.

6. ICT (Prize $5,000)
The ICT category covers innovation in digital technology, including systems with the potential to transform sectors such as data processing, communications, health, commerce, manufacturing and environmental protection.

7. Education (Prize $5,000)
The education category covers advances promising to strengthen Australia’s skills base, to ensure equity in education and to consolidate our position in the global education market. It includes new technology in teaching and learning.

Overall winner (Prize $25,000)

8. Backyard Innovation (Prize $10,000)
The backyard innovation category covers inventions by the general public that are not yet on the market but are at an advanced stage, with a prototype, if relevant. It includes inventions with the potential to make a difference to our lifestyles, environment, work and play, ranging from better domestic appliances to clever agricultural or construction technology.